A lot of food goes into nourishing a professional athlete’s body and mind, and these photos depict just that. Some of the world’s most celebrated athletes (commonly referred to as Olympians) were photographed by Umit Bektas for Reuters surrounded by their daily intake of food. You may be surprised – these thin, muscular and healthy folks eat a lot of *gasp* CARBS, and plenty of meat, but you won’t find any candies and sugary junk in their diets. Plus, everyone seems to have a pretty hefty collection of water that is consumed daily.
Turkish Taekwondo fighter and Olympic hopeful Nur Tatar, 20, poses in front of her daily food intake in Ankara May 24, 2012. Tatar is preparing to compete for Turkey in the London 2012 Olympic Games. This is her first time competing in the Olympics and she is on a strict diet to shed several pounds to reach the exact weight category in which she will fight. She has reduced her daily calorie intake to 1500 kcal.
Turkish weightlifter and Olympic hopeful Mete Binay, 27, poses in Ankara May 29, 2012. Binay is a world champion weightlifter and his daily diet is 3500 kcal. He drinks at last two glasses of milk every night. His diet is largely composed of red meat. He consumes plenty of sweet desserts everyday and takes care never to miss a full breakfast. Binay is also keen on organic food. Shortly before competitions he begins to supplement his diet with ergogenic aids and vitamin pills.
Turkish 800-metre runner and Olympic hopeful Merve Aydin, 22, poses for a picture in Ankara May 23, 2012. Aydin will run at the Olympics for the first time this year. Her daily intake is 3000 kcal. Although she is rigorously training for the Games, she remains guarded on the outcome. “It is more important for me to realise my true potential and limitations. And do the best I can. I work hard and keep a careful diet,” she says.
Turkish javelin thrower and Olympic hopeful Fatih Avan, 23, poses for a picture in Ankara May 29, 2012. Avan made the world’s second best throw of 2012 but the Olympic Games have a special place in his heart. “I may have become an elite athlete with my good performances but I can only be a great athlete if I can win an Olympic medal,” he says. Avan complements his rigorous training schedule with a nutritional programme which gives him a daily intake of 3500 kcal. His diet is mainly protein-based. “A good diet is essential for power. A correct and consistent diet proves its value in my training,” he says.
Turkish wrestler and Olympic hopeful Elif Jale Yesilirmak, 26, poses for a picture in Ankara May 29, 2012. Yesilirmak sticks to a 3000 kcal-a-day diet. “Instead of red meat I generally eat salmon. I believe fish is more healthy and nutritious. And also, lots of water. I drink a minimum of five litres of water every day,” she says.
Turkish Taekwondo fighter and Olympic hopeful Bahri Tanrikulu, 32, poses for a picture in Ankara May 24, 2012. Tanrikulu is a three-time world champion and an Olympic silver medallist. Tanrikulu has his heart set on a gold medal at the London Olympics. He supplements his daily diet of 3000 kcal with ergogenic aids and multivitamins.