Katie Ledecky Just Told Us What She Eats in a Day While Training for the Paris Olympics

Read exactly what the Olympic swimmer eats every day in this exclusive interview.

<p>Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images</p>

Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images

Reviewed by Dietitian Emily Lachtrupp, M.S., RD

As we anticipate watching the 2024 Paris Olympic Games, we always wonder how athletes prepare for the ultimate competition. Luckily for us, we got the inside scoop from an expert source: American competitive swimmer and seven-time Olympic gold medalist Katie Ledecky.

“I train about 25 to 30 hours a week, about 20 hours of that is in a pool and then the other 5 to 10 hours are in the gym,” Ledecky tells EatingWell. “Mentally, I get all my confidence from my training and knowing that I'm putting in all the work in the training, in my recovery, in everything I'm doing outside the pool. As long as I'm staying on top of those things, I know that I'll get behind the blocks and feel my most confident.”

It shouldn’t be shocking that the world champion is training full-time, but what about her eating habits? In this exclusive interview, Ledecky shares exactly what she eats throughout her day, including protein-packed meals and high-fiber snacks.

Related: Sydney Leroux Just Told Us the High-Protein Breakfast She Makes on Game Days

What Katie Ledecky Eats in a Day


When does the star athlete wake up each morning to start her day? Between 5 and 5:30 a.m.—and she’ll prepare herself breakfast first thing.

“The first half of the day I eat almost exactly the same just because it's what works for me in between practices and before practices,” Ledecky admits. “I'll have oatmeal with some peanut butter and a banana.”

Oatmeal is a classic morning starter, and we’re a big fan of the healthy choice. It’s packed with fiber which will keep Ledecky satisfied through her early morning 2-hour swim. Plus, peanut butter and banana are not only delicious, but they’re nutritious add-ons. Peanut butter offers protein that will keep the swimmer’s energy levels high. And potassium is an electrolyte that can actually help prevent muscle cramps, so adding a banana to her oatmeal is genius.


For lunch, Ledecky keeps it simple.

“I'll have some eggs with toast,” she says. “I'll [usually] put some spinach or tomatoes in my eggs, but I kind of mix up what I'm putting in my eggs.”

Eggs are such a healthy option for a midday meal. First, they’re a complete protein, which is great for muscle growth, bone health and keeping you satisfied for longer. And they’re packed with choline, which can help improve memory, muscle control and more. Add some veggies in and whole-grain toast, and Ledecky is consistently making herself a well-balanced lunch each day.

Between lunch and dinner, Ledecky goes to afternoon practice, and on her drive home, she enjoys a chocolate Core Power protein shake (it’s also one of our test kitchen’s favorite protein shakes). That was a huge reason why she partnered with the brand ahead of this Olympics season.

“I drink it every day after my workouts and when I'm at competitions after my races,” she shares. “While I'm warming down, I'll grab a Core Power and drink it. I think it's just really great for my recovery to get that protein, the electrolytes and nutrients that I need, especially with how hard I'm training right now gearing up for Olympic trials and in Paris.”

Related: 5 Sneaky Signs You Might Need More Electrolytes, According to a Dietitian

<p>Courtesy of Brand</p>

Courtesy of Brand


While her breakfast and lunch are pretty routine, Ledecky will switch it up for dinnertime.

“Dinner is what I usually mix up,” she says. “I'll make chicken or steak or salmon with something to go with it, whether it's a salad or some rice or some other vegetables.”

An easy, healthy dinner with a high-protein main and a veggie side dish? Sign us up! The balance of protein, carbohydrates and nutrient-packed produce is a fulfilling way to end the day strong. We think Ledecky would love one of these 20-minute chicken dinners for summer.


If she’s in need of a snack, the Olympian is a fan of nature’s candy.

“I love berries,” Ledecky shares. “Just getting some extra fruit or vegetables in, that's usually my snack.”

Berries, whether fresh or frozen, are tasty and packed with fiber. Raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and more are all gut-healthy options to keep hunger at bay. They’re also hydrating, and Ledecky prioritizes hydrating foods and water throughout her day to make sure she’s staying properly fueled. 

The Bottom Line

Ledecky’s protein-packed daily routine is admirable and doesn’t fall short of healthy choices, but she expresses that all bodies are different, so what works for her may not work for everyone.

“Eating well to me means eating a balanced diet and eating what's best for you and what meets your needs, whether you're an Olympic athlete, you're exercising a couple times a week or you're training for a local 5k,” she shares. “I think we all have different eating demands and I think eating well probably means different things for different people. But for me, it's all about having a balanced diet.”

Related: I'm a Dietitian & These Are My Favorite High-Protein Dinners

Read the original article on Eating Well.