What athletes really eat

Natasha Hastings is a professional sprinter and 2008 Olympic gold medalist who resides in Atlanta.

I'm a very natural eater and pride myself on not taking many supplements. I only take an iron pill and multivitamin each day. Right now I'm in Europe training. Surprisingly, my diet is cleaner when I'm overseas because the foods aren't as processed as in the United States. In Europe, the track meet organizers feed us food that's specially prepared for the athlete -- lean meats, veggies and rice. Sometimes we have pasta, as well.

Errol Anderson

U.S. sprinter Natasha Hastings sticks as close to possible to a clean, healthy diet when she travels.

Today, I started my day off with a cup of hot tea, eggs, turkey bacon and some toast. I also had some fruit and yogurt with my breakfast. Lunch was a roast beef sandwich, though sometimes I'll just have leftovers from dinner instead.

To keep my energy up, I make a protein shake for a snack. I usually throw a granola bar or some fruit into the mix. I also drink lots of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

For dinner, I bake most of my meats. I like to eat lots of chicken breast and fish; my favorite is salmon. On the side, I have brown rice or whole-wheat pasta and steamed veggies flavored with a little bit of butter, salt and pepper.

I try to stick as close to possible to a clean, healthy diet. Sometimes I do indulge with a burger or some ice cream. My biggest food weakness? That would have to be cheesecake. But I usually only have it after I've had a good competition.

Carrie Hanson is a roller derby jammer for the Charlotte Speed Demons. From Ann Arbor, Mich., she is also a senior vice president for retail banking strategy at Bank of America.

I'm a jammer, so that means I'm a fast, small and agile skater who scores points. I need the proper fuel to keep up with our practice schedule of two hours, three days a week. I'm also a competitive runner and run up to 15 miles a week.

I'm pretty consistent and eat just about the same thing every day. For breakfast, I always start with a cup of coffee and put a dash of cinnamon in there. I read in the book "The 4-Hour Body" [by Tim Ferriss] that cinnamon will lower your LDL cholesterol and help regulate your blood sugar throughout the day. Then I cook plain Quaker oatmeal with some more cinnamon and a handful of blueberries, and have that with two Jimmy Dean sausage patties.

For lunch, I use Fresh Express bagged salad as a base and throw in whatever I can find in the kitchen. I normally have Boar's Head turkey and a scoop of tuna. Then I add fresh vegetables, which I get from one of my teammates who grows her own veggies. For an extra treat, I'll toss red grapes or diced apples into my salad, too. I'm pretty lucky because I work from a home office. So if I keep my house stocked with healthy foods, I'm not tempted to stray for lunch.

I used to add a handful of grated cheese on my salad, but I realized there were better ways to get protein than from dairy. Plus, I don't think dairy is great for my system; I've pretty much given it up altogether.

Dinner is usually my "meal in a bowl": Kashi 7 Whole Grain Pilaf topped with ground turkey, salsa and black beans. It's easy to eat, and I make enough so that I can have it the next day, too.

My favorite snack is a sliced apple with crunchy peanut butter, but I also love Swedish Fish and frozen Milk Duds. I can pass by cakes, doughnuts and bagels, but if you put some candy in front of me -- that's my weakness.

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