We were shocked to discover that some consume a whopping 9000 calories per day!  This high calorie consumption is down to their strenuous training regimes, and whilst we do not recommend you eat that much, there is lot's we can learn from these athletes when looking at our own diets.  Below, we take a look at 5 foods that are popular on the slopes with the Winter Olympics athletes.

5 Popular foods in a Winter Olympian's diet:

1. Protein shakes:
Top of the pile for most Winter Olympics athletes when it comes to preparing to hit the slopes is their daily shake.  This will be full of protein power and a way to slowly release the energy that they need for the gruelling training sessions.  The protein also helps the athletes build much needed muscle which makes enables them to be quicker on the ice or down the slopes.  The protein shakes tend to differ depending on the athlete and sport, but whey protein and plenty of fresh green vegetables including spinach and broccoli are a popular choice.

2. Nuts and berries:
With the athletes out on the slopes or on the ice for long periods during the day, it's important that they can snack between their main meals to provide the energy they need.  A popular choice is nuts and berries with American halfpipe snowboarder Gretchen Bleiler a fan of dried mango, walnuts and goji-berries when in the mountains.  These provide her with much needed iron, something which the body needs at high altitude.  I'm sure Gretchen would be a fan of Linwoods flaxseed, almonds, brazil nuts, walnuts and CO-Q10 mix, which is packed fill of antioxidants to help with the production of energy.

(Image source: Zimbio)
3. Granola:
For many Winter Olympian's, breakfast is the most important meal of the day; something we should all learn something from.  These athletes see breakfast as a key meal to fuelling their body for their first big training session of the day and it's important they are putting the right food into their body.  Protein shakes, omelettes and cereals are all popular breakfasts, but it is another dish that caught our eye – granola.  Easy to make and packed full of protein and carbohydrates to provide your body with the energy needed, many of the Winter Olympics athletes combine granola with Greek Yoghurt in the Olympic Village in Sochi.  Granola is a favourite for US mogul skiing sensation Hannah Kearney, and it seems to be working well for Hannah as she set a new FSI record in the 2011/12 World Cup as she recorded 16 consecutive victories.  Check out our easy to follow gorgeous granola recipe, which uses the protein packed flaxseed, cocoa and berries mix.

(Image source: E Online)


4. Fresh fruit and vegetables:
Although they may be superstar athletes, at the end of the day, these Winter Olympians are the same as everyone of us, and they only want to put the best and freshest of food into their body.  Olympics athletes consume lots of fresh fruit and vegetables throughout the day as they look to supply their body with the essential vitamins and minerals that will get them through the day and through the tough training sessions.  British snowboarder Zoe Gillings maintains a diet that is high in protein and carbohydrates and full of fresh fruit and vegetable as she prepares for the Sochi games.  Banana is a popular choice, particularly due to its high potassium content.

(Image source: BBC)

5. Salad:

Some athletes are also loading up on salads instead of pasta before taking part in an event.  This is to help them become lighter and is particularly popular for jumping events including ski jumping, were the loss of a few pounds before an event can make a big difference.  With sports scientists and dieticians on board, these athletes are still getting key sources of energy and carbohydrates into their body with a salad.

These are just some of the dishes that are popular among Winter Olympians as the battle for the gold medal in Sochi 2014.  For a lot of individuals, their diet will also be impacted upon by what they can and can't eat, with many athletes avoiding gluten products.

Professor Nanna Meyer from The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs is the senior sports dietician at the US Olympic Committee and the dietician for the US Speed Skating team in Sochi.  Nanna is blogging about the diet of athletes and food available at Sochi on her Sochi blog and it is certainly worth checking out.  You view her blog here.

The table below highlights some of the daily requirements for athletes at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

(Table source: NPR)

Are you following the Winter Olympics?  What has been your favourite event so far and what is your most memorable moment.  Share your favourite moments with us on Facebook and Twitter.