Jul 20

What athletes really eat

Lori Chalupny is a professional soccer player, 2008 Olympic gold medalist and captain of the Atlanta Beat. She is from St. Louis.

I live in a house with five of my teammates, so keeping track of my special foods can be a daily task. The one thing of mine in the refrigerator that no one can touch is my fruits and veggies. I keep them in a separate drawer. If they're running low then I know something's up!

I'm in season now, so I started my day at 8 a.m. with peanut butter on toast, yogurt and two hard-boiled eggs. A daily caffeine fix is necessary, so I stopped at Starbucks on my way to practice. My drink of choice: a grande nonfat white-chocolate mocha.

After practice, I had a turkey, cheese and avocado sandwich on Ezekiel bread with veggie chips and strawberries on the side. My midday snack was pita chips and hummus. I also drank lots of water. I have a gallon a day to stay hydrated. With the heat in Atlanta and our long practices, there's no room for improper hydration.

We like to grill in this house, so for dinner I'll have a grilled chicken breast along with some asparagus and pasta salad. For dessert, I have Hershey's Nuggets candies; the freezer is stocked with them. Although I usually eat healthy, I'm not a total food nerd. My one weakness is soda. Whenever I eat out, I feel like I have to have a Dr. Pepper. Also, once in a while I'll stop by Chick-fil-A for a crispy chicken sandwich with waffle fries. The key to treating yourself is to not worry about it -- just enjoy your food.

Kate Rutherford is a professional rock climber specializing in crack climbing. She lives near Seattle.

My mornings always start around 8 a.m. with a cup of Earl Grey tea with a splash of cream. For breakfast, I had eggs with turkey, cheese and avocado in a tortilla. Although my home base is in Washington, I'm on the road most of the time. My boyfriend and I have a deluxe camper van that we stay in when we're at Yosemite. It's decked out with solar panels, a sink and a two-burner stove.

Then I packed my lunch, which is always something simple, like crackers and cheese. If I'm headed out for a long day climb, I'll load my pockets with fruit leather and two or three energy bars; my favorites are Clif Bar's Carrot Cake and Luna's Chocolate Dipped Coconut. I also snack on Clif Shot Bloks, since they're easy to pop in my mouth. Because I'm constantly climbing or belaying, it can be a real challenge to get enough calories. When I do overnight climbs -- it took me two nights and three days to do the Fitz Roy in Argentina -- there's a whole lot of bars, salami and cheese and freeze-dried meals going on.

For dinner, I like to cook in the camper. Lately we've been really into these glorified burrito wraps. So I made one with sauteed onions and other veggies; cheese; and organic chicken sausages with rice and beans. They're delicious and filling -- with super-easy cleanup. No dessert for me. I'm much more of a salty dog than a sweets person, so if I'm snacking on anything, it's going to be potato chips. I usually just eat what my body's craving.

Caroline Queen is a member of the U.S. national kayaking team. She hails from Darnestown, Md.

Right now I'm in Bratislava, Slovakia, training and racing with the U.S. national team, so my schedule and meals vary a lot! But when I'm at home, I'm always fully awake by 7 a.m. For breakfast, I usually have Greek yogurt with Special K and fruit before heading to practice at 9 or 10. Depending on the conditions, I'll usually stay out for one or two hours working on flat-water endurance or whitewater drills.

When I get home, I'm hungry for lunch. My family loves to grill, so I'll have a tortilla wrap with shrimp and some spinach for iron. Last year, my doctor told me I was borderline deficient, so I've been making sure that I eat plenty of iron-rich foods.

In the afternoon, I head out for another paddling or strength-training session. During the school year -- I'm at Davidson College -- I rarely have time for two-a-day workouts. I'm able to get on the water five or six days a week, but my focus is my studies.

After practice and hanging out with my friends or family, it's dinnertime. I like to have a big, nutrient-dense salad with spinach or arugula and grilled chicken. For dessert, I'll have some more Greek yogurt and fruit. This year I've tried to phase out really processed and artificial foods from my diet. If something has more than seven ingredients listed on the label, I try not to eat it.