health

How many calories do Olympic athletes need to consume to fuel their bodies?

Mari A. Schaefer, Staff Writer

Updated: Thursday, February 15, 2018, 12:03 PM

Chloe Kim, left, and teammate Arielle Gold, right, won gold and bronze respectfully in the women’s halfpipe at the 2018 Winter Olympics.

Churros, ice cream, and breakfast sandwiches may not seem like the ideal foods for a world-class athlete, but U.S. Olympic gold medalist Chloe Kim has everybody talking about her winning diet.

The 17-year-old snowboarder from La Palma, Calif. was tweeting about food cravings while competing in the women’s halfpipe event.

“Oh and I also had 2 churros today and they were pretty bomb so if you ever get nervous go eat a churro,” she tweeted on Feb. 11 after confessing she was “so nervous!!!!!!!”

Oh and I also had 2 churros today and they were pretty bomb so if you ever get nervous go eat a churro

— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 11, 2018

Could be down for some ice cream rn

— Chloe Kim (@chloekimsnow) February 12, 2018

Kim can afford to indulge — snowboarders consume 2,200 to 3,200 calories each day, Vox reported.

In general, the total number of calories a person needs each day depends on age, sex, height, weight, and level of physical activity. Caloric estimates for an adult woman range from 1,600 to 2,400 per day, according to the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans on health.gov. Adult men range from 2,000 to 3,000 calories per day.

But different sports have different energy needs. Nutritionists calculate how hard the athletes are training, how much energy they need, and what their ideal weight should be for competitions.

For example, while ski jumpers can eat as little as 1,300 calories, cross-country skiers can consume as much as 7,000 calories.

To make sure our Olympic athletes had what they needed to compete, Team USA shipped 85 pallets’ worth of food and equipment to Pyeongchang, South Korea, the site of the Winter Games.

To fuel for triple Lutz and Salchow jumps, figure skaters eat between 1,800 and 3,000 calories. When 1988 Olympic gold medalist Brian Boitano was competing, he told the New York Times he ate mostly carbohydrates and rarely exceeded 1,800 calories per day.

Short-track speed skaters eat between 2,800 and 3,500, while their long-track teammates consume as many as 4,000 calories. Same with Alpine skiers and ice hockey players, who range from 2,800 to 4,000 calories.

However, none of these diets compare to that of Olympic gold medalist and swimming sensation Michael Phelps, who ate a whopping 12,000 calories a day prior to the London Games, the Washington Post reported.

The Amount Of #Calories US Swimmer Michael Phelps Told NBC He Ate #weightloss pic.twitter.com/hk9R0HWfl5

— Diet & Weight Loss (@seekeerr_eva) February 7, 2018

Mari A. Schaefer, Staff Writer

Read full story: How many calories do Olympic athletes need to consume to fuel their bodies?