Olive oil and sports

Edoardo Zardini was born in 1989 and has been cycling since he was 11 years old. He is considered to be one of the most promising road bikers in Italy.

Next Saturday, on June 27, Edo, as his fans call him, will take part in the 2015 Italian Road Cycling Championship, and race on a 219-km-long track.

One evening, some time ago, he was enjoying a cup of barley coffee in a soon-to-be “biker-friendly” venue, when a journalist asked him what he ate, what sort of diet did he follow. He smiled, and answered with these words: “A Mediterranean diet, therefore pasta, possibly wholemeal and made from spelt flour, meat, fruit and vegetables, and only extra virgin olive oil.”

Edoardo has made a wise choice. Diet plays a key role in an athlete’s life, and one must always know what types of food can improve one’s performance, and how they should be consumed so as to get the most out of them. The beneficial effects of extra virgin olive oil are mostly due to its chemical composition, featuring high levels of monounsaturated fatty acids and a perfect balance of polyunsaturated ones, as well as a reasonable amount of vitamin E and some important minor compounds such as polyphenols.

An athlete’s diet includes another important ingredient, self-discipline. One cannot excel in sports without being strong-willed, because an aim can only be achieved through constant training. This choice does not however imply sacrificing good, tasty food.


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