What do athletes eat? This is perhaps the commonest question asked about the fitness regimens of professional athletes. After all, who wouldn't want the toned physiques of a Cristiano Ronaldo or a Michael Schumacher or a Usain Bolt?
Moreover, with the 2012 London Olympics almost upon us, the question of athlete's diets will gather more steam, even as the world's attention turns squarely to London - the first time in over six decades the city will host the modern Olympics. Incidentally, this will make London the first city ever to have hosted the Games thrice; earlier occasions were 1908 and 1948.
In any case, the athletes will be on show from 27 July to 12 August and one of the many questions newspapers, television shows and other media persons will ask them and their trainers will certainly be with dietary requirements.
It should be no secret these requirements and associated nutrition levels vary for each athlete, depending on the type of sport they practice. A weightlifter, for example, may need a protein rich diet while a runner or a rower may need something else entirely. However, nutritionists tell us that all athletes get maximum benefit from carbohydrates storied in their bodies.
"In the early stages of moderate exercise, carbohydrates provide 40 to 50 percent of the energy requirement. Carbohydrates yield more energy per unit of oxygen consumed than fats. Because oxygen often is the limiting factor in long duration events, it is beneficial for the athlete to use the energy source requiring the least amount of oxygen per kilocalorie produced. As work intensity increases, carbohydrate utilization increases," nutrition specialists at Colorado State University wrote in their report Nutrition for the Athlete.
Showcasing their diet regimen, a few Turkish Olympics athletes posed with their daily food intake in a unique photo shoot done recently in Ankara, the Turkish capital. The Olympic hopefuls who took part in the shoot included Taekwondo fighters Nur Tatar and Bahri Tanrikulu, weightlifter Mete Binay, 800-metre runner Merve Aydin, javelin thrower Fatih Avan and wrestler Elif Jale Yesilirmak.
Scroll down to catch a glimpse of these Olympics athletes from Turkey, posing with some of the most nutritious and lip-smacking dishes...