Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially if you’re an Olympian.
The team also brought along four sports nutritionists that give dietary recommendations based on how hard the athletes are training, how much energy they are likely to burn, and how heavy or light they need to be for competition.
When it comes to breakfast, they each have a unique take on how to start the day.
Chloe Kim, 17, has made headlines during her first Olympic games because of her indulgent eating habits that include chocolate chip pancakes and biscuits and gravy for breakfast
Figure skaters and ski jumpers need to be lighter and leaner because their events require being light enough to fly through the air.
Luge and bobsleigh athletes, on the other hand, need to be heavier because more weight makes their sleds slide down the track faster.
Ohio State University sports nutritionist Kacie Vavrek told Daily Mail Online that generally in the days before a competition, athletes will eat a lot of carbs to build up glycogen stores that can be used later.
Carbs are particularly important for athletes in sports that require a lot of endurance such as cross country skiing.
‘Endurance athletes will pay more attention to carbs versus the shorter program athletes who don’t need the same amount of carbs,’ Vavrek said.
On the day of, athletes will likely ingest more sugars for quick energy.
‘Sugar and refined carbs will go straight to your blood sugar and give you energy right away, which is why some athletes will eat sports gels.’
Some athletes will even eat candies like Swedish Fish or jelly beans before competitions for quick energy, but Vavrek says that overall athletes try to go for more complex energy sources.
‘When you’re fueling for a sport there are some sugars that we try to avoid,’ Vavrek said.
Vavrek says that a good breakfast is especially important for athlete’s to perform at their best.
Along with specific nutrition requirements, dietary differences also come from individual preferences.
Four-time Olympic alpine skiier Lindsey Vonn’s favorite breakfast is a zesty egg scramble with red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, Cholula hot sauce, and cilantro.
Pair skater Alexa Scimeca Knierem opts for a simpler breakfast of banana, peanut butter, oatmeal especially on competition days because the nerves can make her stomach sensitive.
Figure skater Adam Rippon’s go-to is overnight oats because he can get them wherever he travels for competitions. He has also said he’s a fan of Honey Nut Cheerios.
The most common breakfasts among this year’s American Olympians included oatmeal, eggs and smoothies that give them the nutrients, protein, sugar and overall energy to perform at their best.
Here’s a more in-depth look at what this year’s team members are digging into to start their day:
1. Lindsey Vonn – alpine skiing
Lindsay Vonn’s personal chef told Women’s Health Magazine that her favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs with zesty fillings
The 33-year-old, four-time Olympian has two medals under her belt, so it’s safe to say she knows how to fuel up.
Her personal chef told Women’s Health Magazine that her favorite breakfast is scrambled eggs with red bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach, garlic, Cholula hot sauce, and cilantro.
She’ll add oatmeal if it’s going to be a hard training day.
2. Chloe Kim – snowboarding
Kim, 17, took home a gold medal for Snowboard Ladies’ Halfpipe on Tuesday
Chloe Kim, 17, has made headlines during her first Olympic games because of her indulgent eating habits. The 5’5″, 115-pound snowboarder sparked a conversation about Olympic eating after she tweeted about a churro craving over the weekend.
Then on Monday between her second and third run on the halfpipe, the snowboarder tweeted: ‘Wish I finished my breakfast sandwich but my stubborn self decided not to and now I’m getting hangry.’
She went on to win a gold medal in that event despite the unfinished sandwich.
Kim told Popsugar that for breakfast she enjoys ‘chocolate pancakes, biscuits and gravy, toast, and cottage cheese.’
3. Adam Rippon – figure skating
Adam Rippon, 28, is pictured performing during the men’s free skating event on Monday (left) and in a press interview on Tuesday (right)
Adam Rippon, 28, is participating in his first Olympics this year. He said one of his favorite breakfasts is overnight oats with almond milk because it’s easy to find no matter where he is in the world.
He ‘lives for a cappuccino or latte in the morning’ according to Bon Appetit.
4. Shaun White – snowboarding
Snowboarder Shaun White is shown receiving his gold medal in Men’s Halfpipe on Wednesday
The redheaded 31-year-old was a lot less specific when describing his breakfast on training days when he told Board World that he likes to have ‘some eggs and whatever else I can get my hands on,’ before he hits the slopes.
He said he typically only has breakfast and dinner because he’s strapped into his board throughout the middle of the day.
5. Jessie Diggins – cross-country skiing
Jessie Diggins, 26, is pictured on the cross country slope on Monday (left) and in a press interview last week (right)
Jessie Diggins, 26, is competing in her second Olympics this year. Cross-country skiers require a lot of calories every day because their sport requires intense arm and leg strength.
For breakfast, Jessie will often have one cup of dried oatmeal, one cup of berries, half cup of yogurt with nuts and honey, and a fried egg.
She also likes French toast or pancakes with peanut butter, bananas, nuts
She has coffee every morning morning and hydrates with water and tea.
6. Chris Mazdzer – luge
Team USA luger Chris Mazdzer took home a silver medal for Luge Men’s Singles on Monday
Chris Mazdzer, 29, needs to eat a lot because the heavier he is, the faster his luge will fly down the track. He likes eggs, either scrambled, over medium or in omelette with onions, peppers, mushrooms and spinach.
He occassionally has smoked salmon and side of avocado or muesli, with plain yogurt and honey.
7. Meghan Duggan – hockey
Meghan Duggan is pictured during the US hockey match against the Olympic Athletes from Russia team on Tuesday
Hockey pro Meghan Duggan, 30, starts her day with ‘a few eggs, Greek yogurt, oatmeal, fruit, and lots of coffee,’ according to Bon Appetit.
She also likes to spread nut butters on a banana or toast.
She mentioned that she and her teammates like to watch the cooking segment on The Today Show.
8. Alexa Scimeca Knierim – pair skating
Team USA’s Alexa Scimeca Knierim and Chris Knierim react to their scores after competing in the Pair Skating Short Program on Wednesday. Figure skaters eat fewer calories than other athletes because they need to be light
Alexa Scimeca Knierim, 26, competes with her husband Chris and weighs only 102lbs.
On competition days she has a simple breakfast of a banana, peanut butter, oatmeal, a glass of milk, and sometimes a small coffee.
On training days she eats a bit more, such as a slice of bread with peanut butter, a banana, and a soft-scrambled egg.
She told InStyle: ‘I always drink a glass of milk in the morning and again at night. For mornings, I’ll have a small coffee and plenty of water as well.’
9. Erin Hamlin – luge
Erin Hamlin competes in the women’s singles luge on Tuesday. Luge athletes must consume more calories because being heavier increases speed
Four-time Olympic luger Erin Hamlin, 31, eats a hefty breakfast so she can bulk up to perform best at the event.
During training she eats ‘an array of cold cut meats, two or four boiled eggs, bread of some form, some yogurt with muesli or granola and an orange or a banana,’ she told Cosmopolitan.
She eats lighter on race day, saying: ‘I don’t want to feel uncomfortable while I’m racing.’
10. Ashley Caldwell – freestyle skiing
Two-time Olympian Ashley Caldwell, 24, fuels up with two eggs, spinach, and cheese on a bagel or toast.
She gets her caffeine fix from coffee or tea, adding protein powder to the coffee as a creamer.
11. Aja Evans – bobsleigh
On a typical day, 29-year-old Aja Evans will have some combination of oatmeal, toast, eggs – either over medium in an omelet – bacon and fruit.
She also likes to make her own protein bites for extra fuel.
‘I use oats, peanut butter, a little honey, protein powder, dark chocolate chips, crushed almonds, and sometimes dried cranberries and mix it all together and roll it into bite-sized balls,’ she told Bon Appetit.
12. Brianna Decker – hockey
Brianna Decker, 26, takes stock of her leftovers before when deciding what to whip up for breakfast.
She likes to do eggs with vegetables and ham, chicken or steak from the night before, with berries or banana on the side.
After her morning workouts at the hockey rink or in the gym, she drinks protein shake to help her muscles recover.
13. Heather McPhie – freestyle skiing
Freestyle skier Heather McPhie, 33, preps for her races with a breakfast of organic slow-cooked oats topped with fruit and peanut or sunflower butter for protein.
14. Kelly Clark, snowboarder
When she’s at home, 34-year-old snowboarder Kelly Clark makes juices every day.
On the road, the four-time Olympian opts for smoothies that give her all of the vitamins and minerals she needs in an easy-to-digest format.
If she’s craving something more solid she’ll whip up eggs, toast and bacon.
15. Elana Meyers Taylor – bobsleigh
Bobsleigh silver medalist Elana Meyers Taylor, 33, cuts out cholesterol by opting for egg whites.
She scrambles them with veggies like peppers, spinach, mushrooms.
She usually pairs the scramble with oatmeal and berries.
16. Jamie Anderson – snowboarding
Snowboarder Jamie Anderson, 27, took home a gold medal in 2014 and will be trying to do the same this year.
She likes a green smoothie with protein powder and herbal tea for breakfast, according to an interview with InStyle.
‘I drink a green shake that’s filled with amino acids—it’s called Tonic Alchemy—it has over 100 superfoods like spirulina, goji berries, all kinds of different grains. You have to make sure you’re taking in a lot of extra vitamins and minerals,’ she said.
17. Laurenne Ross – alpine skiing
Much like fellow alpine skiier Lindsey Vonn, Laurenne Ross, 29, likes a big breakfast.
Her favorite is a ‘large sweet-potato, shitake-mushroom, red-onion, garlic, and spinach stir fry with two fried duck-eggs on top,’ according to InStyle.
To hydrate she drinks Yerba Mate with almond milk and local honey or pro-greens in carrot and orange juice.
18. Sadie Bjornsen – cross-country skiing
Sadie Bjornsen, 28, sticks to a classic breakfast that’s full of fiber to keep her energized for her high-intensity workouts.
She told InStyle she usually has ‘oatmeal, yogurt, apples, raisins, almonds, honey, and a spoon of peanut butter with a glass of water, and a cup of coffee’.
19. Mikaela Shiffrin – alpine skiing
To fuel up for the slopes, 22-year-old Mikaela Shiffrin with eat a simple breakfast of two eggs and two pieces of whole-wheat toast
Occasionally she have cereal or oatmeal and fruit on the side.
20. Nathan Chen – figure skating
Figure skater Nathan Chen, 18, usually has two substantial meals each day because he’s busy training.
For breakfast, that includes a smoothie, egg breakfast wrap, or yogurt.
21&22. Maia Shibutani and Alex Shibutani – pair skating
Siblings Maia and Alex Shibutani may be perfectly in-sync on the ice, but when it comes to breakfast they have different preferences.
Maia, 23, goes for eggs, oatmeal, green tea with lemon, and a grapefruit or orange juice.
Alex, 26, has oatmeal with dried fruit, a chia seed bar and water.