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Eat like an athlete - Aileen McGlynn


Aileen McGlynn is a tandem cyclist who was awarded an OBE in 2009 and went on to win a silver medal at the London 2012 Paralympics. We asked the athlete for her nutrition and training tips along with the foods she finds hard to resist...

What is your typical daily diet when training for a big event?


My usual breakfast is porridge and a banana, with a cup of tea

I have something light and healthy, like a chicken salad sandwich for lunch

A balanced final meal is important at the end of the day, so something like salmon, potatoes, broccoli and cauliflower is a regular choice for me

How do you keep your diet varied and do you ever get bored with eating for your sport?

It can be a bit boring because, as an athlete, I eat to try to get energy. I stick to basic foods but try to vary it whenever possible.

What super food/juice/meal helps you get out of bed and motivated on those particularly dreary mornings?

Cups of tea

You can't beat a cup of tea to get you out of bed in the morning.
 What's your trusted snack for an energy boost?

A quality energy bar that is high in time-release carbohydrates provides a real pick-me-up if energy levels are flagging. If you are exercising as part of a weight-loss programme opt for one that is low-fat too.

How do you stay hydrated when training?

Electrolytes in energy drinks help to boost hydration so I make sure I drink a lot of those when training hard.

When competition season is over what are your favourite food indulgences?

Battered fish and chips

Who doesn't have a weakness for chocolate? I also love fish and chips so make sure I treat myself to a portion between training schedules.

What would be your top diet and exercise tip for the amateur athlete?

Firstly stay hydrated, so sip water through the day and use energy drinks to top-up when you've been working out particularly strenuously. I would also say generally eating healthily and trying to eat healthy snacks will help your performance.

Aside from your speciality, what is your favourite sport/exercise?

I love to swap my bike for a pair of skis once in a while.


Uncover more diet secrets from top athletes in our eat like an athlete series.

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