What Olympians Eat

How Swimmer Tucker Dupree Eats for the Paralympics

Image Credit: Dolfin Swimwear

The Olympics may be over, but there's more action to come in Rio. We're talking about the Paralympics, which run from September 7 to 18. The competitors in these games aren't just amazing athletes — they're also incredible people who have overcome obstacles to bring their athleticism to the world stage. We asked a few to share what they eat on a daily basis.

Tucker Dupree

Age: 27
Hometown: Raleigh, NC
Event: Paralympic Swimming; 50-meter free and 100-meter backstroke
Training Regimen: Four hours a day, six days a week; swimming and lifting weights, along with some spin classes.

With two Paralympics under his belt, Tucker Dupree is a seasoned pro. At 19, he competed in Beijing, just two years after being diagnosed with Leber's hereditary optic neuropathy (LHON), which caused him to lose about 80 percent of his sight. At the London Games, he earned a silver medal in the 100-meter backstroke and bronze in both the 50- and 100-meter freestyle.

The third time should definitely be a charm for this experienced swimmer. It's all about how he trains. After all, you don't get to be a three-time Olympian by eating Skittles — or do you?

Tucker's Daily Eating Routine

Tucker starts his day with oatmeal. He usually adds peanut butter for a protein boost and Craisins "because they're delicious." His mid-morning snack is a Clif bar, banana, and coffee. For lunch, he has a sandwich with "double meat" and an apple.

Dinner is often Tucker's biggest meal. It can vary, but you can bet there's always "a big portion of protein and double carbs," he says. Some favorites include chicken with rice and beans, a chicken sandwich with mashed potatoes, and tacos or burritos with tortilla chips.

Tucker also has his share of snacks throughout the day. He typically has one protein shake after each of his two workout sessions. He can also be found indulging in things like fruit, popcorn, crackers, and applesauce.

Favorite Cheat Food: Sugar!

When it comes to splurging, Tucker says it's between blue Skittles and mint chocolate chip ice cream. "I have a big sweet tooth, but I try to limit my sugar intake," he says.

Rio Must-Eat: A Clean Diet

Tucker says you never know what will be offered in the Olympic Village cafeteria, but he's hoping to stick to a clean diet while in Rio. "Because my competition spans the length of the Paralympic Games, I won't really have the chance to get out into the city to sample the local fare," he says. "I'm sure they'll bring some of that to us in the Village dining hall, so I'm excited to see what there will be to try."

Watch Tucker Dupree compete in Rio, when Swimming at the 2016 Paralympic Games starts on Thursday, September 8.