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Thread: What do most skaters eat?

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    What do most skaters eat?

    I've heard Johnny say he ate just a very little bit of meat, I've heard of Alissa being a vegan or vegetarian and I've heard it was hard for Yuna to stop eating some of her favorite choices. Does anyone know any specifics?

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    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    You mean during the competitive season, right? I believe their diets are less strict off-season. They probably avoid carbs (bread, pasta, cakes, pastries, etc.) to stay lean.

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    Custom Title CoyoteChris's Avatar
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    I think there is a wide range here. I know Alissa's mom told me she is very careful what she eats...I know after reading Frozen Teardrop there are specific diets that can do many things, like delay puberty till one is 26. I have heard rumors about what certain Chineese skaters are allowed to eat but that is only hearsay. I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    Chris on the see-food diet.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    I think there is a wide range here. I know Alissa's mom told me she is very careful what she eats...I know after reading Frozen Teardrop there are specific diets that can do many things, like delay puberty till one is 26. I have heard rumors about what certain Chineese skaters are allowed to eat but that is only hearsay. I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    Chris on the see-food diet.
    I would imagine that one of the things cut out would be fats, especially animal fats. It's partly the balance of body fat that triggers puberty in girls, at least. I also wonder whether Chinese trainers have researched foods that are typically produced with hormones (in the U.S., often that's dairy foods and chicken) and forbid those to their skaters. Dairy isn't a food usually eaten in China to begin with, of course. Among Western skaters, a vegan diet such as Alissa's cuts out both dairy and chicken (along with other meats and even fish. And even eggs!). So all those foods are out of the picture. That's not entirely a bad thing, considering how such foods are mass-produced, as long as the missing nutrients are compensated for in other ways. A vegan like Alissa might actually eat quite a few powerhouse foods rich in fats, such as nuts, seeds, and avocados. If you're eating vegan, such foods give nutrition that would otherwise be lacking and don't make too much trouble with weight gain.

    I apologize for blending two different concepts here. What Alissa eats, the vegan diet, is stringent but need not be extreme (though body types differ, and some people simply can't tolerate an all plant-based diet--they get sick without at least some animal protein). If you look at Alissa, she's thin but not painfully so. Her face is full, and her skin and hair seem lustrous. Anyone who has met her personally, please feel free to chime in here!) She also looks as if she's a normal grownup, not some child in a state of arrested development. (I'm trying very hard to avoid getting clinical here, which would be an invasion of her privacy. My point is that she looks healthy and strong.)

    On the other hand, some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown. I have no idea what's done to them, but it's been painful to watch Pang and Tong skate, much as I love them. Shen and Zhao seem all right to my inexpert eye, but Pang and Tong seem as though their every mouthful is carefully doled out.

    The sad thing is that the years of development taken away from a girl can't be given back. It's not as though they stop the body clock and then resume it again when the child retires. The growth plates in the bones are screwed up, bone density may become abnormal, and the person's predestined adult height may never be reached. It's an eating disorder imposed from outside. Shame on any coaching system, east, west, or on Mars, that depends on that for success.
    Last edited by Olympia; 02-25-2012 at 01:16 PM.

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    Article from before 2012 Four Continents - Meagan Duhamel credits vegan diet for good health: http://www.news1130.com/sports/artic...or-good-health

    Quote Originally Posted by CoyoteChris View Post
    I doubt very much if the USFSA would spring for a sports nutricianist to tell skaters what they SHOULD eat to keep fit and in shape.
    I believe at Champs Camp (for the USFS skaters with Grand Prix assignments), proper nutrition usually is one of the topics covered and sports nutritionists are available for private consultations.
    Last edited by Sylvia; 02-25-2012 at 01:23 PM.

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    So someone on a vegan diet would just be eating fruits and veg throughout the day and their main source of protein only comes from nuts? Would they eat nuts for every meal then? I would think that might get boring after awhile.

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    Rooting for the divas with Kwanford Spun Silver's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Olympia View Post
    On the other hand, some of the Chinese skaters (and even more so the girl gymnasts) look as if they might mature by the time they're thirty. They look underfed and barely grown. I have no idea what's done to them, but it's been painful to watch Pang and Tong skate, much as I love them. Shen and Zhao seem all right to my inexpert eye, but Pang and Tong seem as though their every mouthful is carefully doled out.
    I agree about these two couples, but I read an interview with Zhao once where his description of their diet was painful. I remember as it consisting of lettuce leaves. Obviously there's something wrong with that recollection, but they were definitely hungry for more than gold.

    I didn't know Alissa was a vegan.

    Alexeifan, vegans get a lot of their protein from beans, and you can do a lot with beans - hummus, veggie burgers, tofu and tempeh, add them to sauces, etc.

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    Olympia- I agree, Alissa looks very healthy yet lean.

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    The biggest strongest land animals are vegans - elephants, rhinos, buffaloes, yaks, mooses, horses, etc.

    From the little I know about what the Chinese skaters eat while competing abroad, it doesn't sound anything like described here. Their main issue is not being used to or liking the Western food, so they pack instant noodles with them, which is pretty poor nutrition. Tong, upon taking a rest this season, joked that he would not be so hungry now because when they traveled to compete, the Chinese team had someone prepared Chinese food for the skaters but being the number two team, they, like good Chinese siblings, would respectfully defer to elder S/Z and look after the younger Z/Z so they often had less to eat after the other Pairs.

    As far as I know, skaters have very different eating habits, influenced by nationality and personal preferences. The serious ones sooner or later learn the importance of proper and optimal nutrition.

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    Like subtlety in ice dancing Serious Business's Avatar
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    I remember reading that Yagudin would forego food on the day of competition so he'd be lighter for his jumps.

    And as I've said on this forum before, I believe it was Brooke Castile who said the best thing about retirement was that Ben Okolski isn't around to yell at her when she eats.

    I am just guessing, but it seems skaters don't eat a lot.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Serious Business View Post
    I remember reading that Yagudin would forego food on the day of competition so he'd be lighter for his jumps.
    I personally knew many famous musicians who wouldn't eat before a concert performance, with one exception, who ate a huge amount any time.

    Digestion is a big energy drain.

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    Custom Title alexeifan's Avatar
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    I think Plush only had a banana the day of the 2010 olympics?

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    Quote Originally Posted by alexeifan View Post
    So someone on a vegan diet would just be eating fruits and veg throughout the day and their main source of protein only comes from nuts? Would they eat nuts for every meal then? I would think that might get boring after awhile.
    Beans have been mentioned, but grains are also a source of protein. I'm not vegan but I eat a lot less meat than I used to, and I've explored some of the whole grains such as quinoa and buckwheat. They're delicious and filling, and they have some good protein in them, especially when combined with beans or nuts.

    I do have to add, though, that although the largest and strongest land animals are vegans (good point!), they're also constructed differently from humans. Herbivores such as elephants and the like can break down cellulose more efficiently than humans. Their teeth are also designed differently. Humans are most properly considered omnivores, with shorter intestines and different distribution of teeth. We can adapt and survive (and even thrive) on diets that are herbivorous (like vegans) or almost all carnivorous (for example, the Inuit), but I suspect that evolution has helped certain groups adapt to locally available foods in extreme climates. Certainly the average person who chooses to go mostly or totally vegan will have better arteries and an easier time staying trim!

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    Six Point Zero Krislite's Avatar
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    You're more likely to find common answers to what skaters don't eat than to what they do eat. There are many varieties of healthy diets, though nutritionally poor foods are universal. Refined carbs, bad fats and processed junk are pretty much off limits if you want to be able to succeed at anything harder than double toe-loops.

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