Athletes burn a lot of energy training and during competition and it takes the right foods to keep them going. Click on this slideshow and learn which foods help improve performance and sustain athlete for the long haul.
Eat This and Perform Like an Olympian (Maybe)
Marathoners need to build endurance to be competitive in their sport and one doctor has a rather unique beverage of choice to gear up for competition -- pickle juice. According to NBCNews.com, this seasoned runner eats pickles and drinks the juice in the days leading up the event and found this routine alleviates leg cramping.
The Kazakhstan wrestling team consumes horse meat to improve their performance and caused a stir during the 2012 Olympics when they asked for the meat to be imported to the UK.
Another marathoner told NBCNews.com that hard sugar candies fueled her through the race. The constant release of sugar throughout the run sustained her energy.
Nutrients in beets are reported to aid in oxygen flow, which helps the body perform better during activities that require high levels of endurance. They're also high in carbs, which help sustain energy levels.
Baseball player Wade Boggs reportedly ate a whole chicken before every game, according to Tailgate Fan.
According to Men's Health, eating almonds can improve your hand-eye coordination. Almonds are high in zinc, which has been linked to shorter times for messages, like coordinating your hand and eye movements, to travel through the body.
Photo: Tetra Images
Take What You Can Get
Sometimes the best laid plans don't pan out, especially when you're trying to refuel during competition. Paralympic cycling champion Sarah Storey admitted to the The Guardian that her team once survived on chocolate for a week when they couldn't find food they recognized or that appealed to them.
Part of HuffPost Food Group
In honor of the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympics, we searched for foods athletes eat to improve endurance and strength -- and the results were surprising. If you're looking to boost your performance during your workout routine, try incorporating some of these into your menu.
Check out the slideshow above for strange foods athletes consume and how they improve performance.