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Olympic Weightlifting Diets

by
author image Jim Thomas
Jim Thomas has been a freelance writer since 1978. He wrote a book about professional golfers and has written magazine articles about sports, politics, legal issues, travel and business for national and Northwest publications. He received a Juris Doctor from Duke Law School and a Bachelor of Science in political science from Whitman College.
Olympic Weightlifting Diets
Man lifting barbell in gym. Photo Credit DAJ/amana images/Getty Images

Diets for Olympic weightlifters mirror the diets of non-Olympic weightlifters. Olympic weightlifters compete in two events: the one-movement jerk and the two-movement snatch. Both Olympic and non-Olympic weightlifters need technical skills, flexibility, speed and strength to succeed and improve in your sports. To do your best at weightlifting, you need to eat a diet that will optimize your ability to lift increasing amounts of weight from the floor above your head with explosive movement.

Protein Needs

To build muscle, you must eat high-quality proteins, ideally with every meal. Your diet should consist of 20 percent to 30 percent protein, and you should eat five to six meals per day according to Building-Muscle101.com. High-quality sources of proteins include chicken, lean red meat, fish, milk, turkey, low-fat cheddar cheese, low-fat or regular milk and eggs. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that your nutrient needs -- primarily carbohydrate and protein -- must be met during times of extreme physical activity in order to maintain your weight and to consume enough protein to build and repair your muscles and tissues.

Carbohydrate Intake

Carbohydrates are the fuel for building a weightlifter's body. By eating a sufficient amount of complex carbohydrates, you will delay the outset of muscle fatigue while preventing your body from burning other sources fuel, such as protein. Building-Muscle101.com states that complex carbs should make up 55 percent to 65 percent of your daily diet. Excellent sources of high-quality carbs include whole wheat breads, oatmeal, mushrooms, baked potatoes, green leafy vegetables, spinach, rice and other fruits and vegetables. supplements and ergogenic aids, nutrition recommendations for vegetarian athletes and the roles and responsibilities of sports dietitians.

Fat Choices

Some fats get a bad rap, and deservedly so. You want to avoid trans-fats or saturated fats. But healthful fats are not only another source of fuel, they are essential for normal body functions as well. Cooking with olive oil instead of other vegetable oils is recommended by some weightlifting experts. Other top-quality sources of fats include avocados, walnuts and flax seed oil. The official position statement of the American College of Sports Medicine, published in the March 2009 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise" states that high-fat diets are not recommended for athletes, and fat intake should range from 20 to 35 percent of total calories.

Calories to Gain or Lose

To maintain your current weight, determine the number of calories you should consume daily by multiplying your weight by 15. So if you are a 200-pound bodybuilder you should eat 3,000 calories per day. To gain weight, about 1 pound per week, multiply your weight by 15 and then add 250 to 500 calories to the total. To lose weight, about 1 pound per week, subtract 250 to 500 calories from your weight multiplied by 15. A power drink mixing proteins such as milk and yogurt and carbs such as strawberries and orange juice, is often recommended as part of a post-workout meal.

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