Eat This and Perform Like an Olympian (Maybe)
Chicken and almonds, sure. Candy and horse meat, too?
In honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, we searched for foods athletes eat to improve endurance and strength—and the results were surprising. If you're looking to boost your performance during your workout routine, try incorporating some of these into your menu.
Here are some strange foods athletes consume and how they improve performance:
Candy: Another marathoner told NBCNews.com that hard sugar candies fueled her through the race. The constant release of sugar throughout the run sustained her energy.
Pickle juice: Marathoners need to build endurance to be competitive in their sport and one doctor has a rather unique beverage of choice to gear up for competition —pickle juice. According to NBCNews.com, this seasoned runner eats pickles and drinks the juice in the days leading up the event and found this routine alleviates leg cramping.
Horse sausage: The Kazakhstan wrestling team consumes horse meat to improve their performance and caused a stir during the 2012 Olympics when they asked for the meat to be imported to the UK.
Beetroot juice: Nutrients in beets are reported to aid in oxygen flow, which helps the body perform better during activities that require high levels of endurance. They're also high in carbs, which help sustain energy levels.
Whole chicken: Baseball player Wade Boggs reportedly ate a whole chicken before every game, according to Tailgate Fan.
Almonds: According to Men's Health, eating almonds can improve your hand-eye coordination. Almonds are high in zinc, which has been linked to shorter times for messages, like coordinating your hand and eye movements, to travel through the body.
Take what you can get: Sometimes the best laid plans don't pan out, especially when you're trying to refuel during competition. Paralympic cycling champion Sarah Storey admitted to the The Guardian that her team once survived on chocolate for a week when they couldn't find food they recognized or that appealed to them.
More from Kitchen Daily:
21 Strange Foods You'll Serve in 2014
Eat Protein, Fight Cold and Flu Season
This article is part of Mix It Up, an editorial series created in collaboration with AOL's Kitchen Daily and Huffington Post. It is dedicated to making the lives of mothers easier through articles, videos and slideshows focused on simple and creative solutions to everyday challenges. From healthy recipes to exciting ideas for a more balanced lifestyle, this section aims to become a resource for moms everywhere.