Eat Like an Athlete

Biathlete and Bothwell Cheese Brand Ambassador, Lucas Smith, is at the top of his game. Years of training, hard work, determination, and mental focus will all contribute to his success as a competitor at the 2020 Junior World Championships in Switzerland. Nutrition also plays a pivotal role as it fuels his body to endure the race.

During a recent visit with Lucas, he gave us some insight into what it’s like to “eat like an athlete” and what it means to him to be #FueledByBothwellCheese.

Q: As an athlete, how is your nutrition different from that of a non-athlete?

A: I need the food I eat to optimize my body’s performance, for training and for competitions. When fueling for my sport, I take my food choices very seriously. I prefer a balanced approach and I will adjust my intake depending on my training schedule. I always look for nutritious whole foods made with quality, natural ingredients, like Bothwell cheese and Paradise Island cheese.

Q: Do you pay special attention to your consumption of carbs, fats, and protein?

A: Not specifically. I usually look for an assortment of nutrients, like a basic amount of protein (about 30g) per meal, and then I try and fill the space on my plate with a balance of carbs and fats to reach my caloric intake goals. I also try adding as much colour on my plate to ensure I am getting a good variety of vitamins & minerals from fruits and veggies.

Eat like an athlete: VEGGIE-FILLED MAC N’ CHEESE has a good balance of carbs, protein, fat, and nutrients

Veggie-filled Macaroni and Cheese

Q: How many calories do you need to consume in a day?

A: I tend to require more calories than most athletes in my sport; any number between 3,000 to 5,000 calories a day is my normal range goal. During a shorter training schedule, where we average 8-11 hours of physical training per week, I aim to consume approximately 3,000 calories per day. During more intense training weeks, with 18-24 hours of training, I consume closer to 5,000 calories per day because I burn that much more calories.

Q: Do you change your eating habits on race days?

A: Contrary to what you might think, race days aren’t filled with mass eating and heavy fueling. I consume larger, carbohydrate-dense meals the day before a race, so the energy is already stored in my body. On race day, I stick to simple eating habits where I eat easily digestible foods, relatively heavy in carbs to top up my energy throughout the day. I will often eat a power bowl with quinoa and beets which are high in nitrates, fueling my endurance during a longer race.


Q: How does cheese fuel you as an athlete?

A: I strive for balance and diversity when it comes to my food choices. The fat in cheese is an alternative to carbs, it takes longer to digest, and it gives me more energy ‘pound-for-pound’. Cheese is ideal because it gives me higher amounts of energy and protein. It also makes a flavourful ingredient to my meals and it really helps me achieve a balanced diet.

Q: How do you usually like to eat cheese?

Honestly, I eat cheese in every way that I can! For me, it adds that extra flavour and goodness that turns a dish into a meal. I use Bothwell Cheese in my breakfast omelette every morning. Also because of my busy training schedule, I opt for convenience products like Bothwell slices to make sandwiches and wraps. Then when I need a snack on the go, I’ll reach for a bag of SNACK’RS cheese cubes to eat with crackers and fruit.

Q: Do you have any cheesy recipes of your own?

A: When my family and I go camping, we like to make cheesy Bratwurst and baked potatoes on the open fire. It’s super simple and it always hits the spot after a long day of adventures. I also love a good homemade pizza on flatbread crust with lots of toppings and Bothwell’s stringy Mozzarella cheese.

Eat like an athlete: Try Lucas’s ONE-PAN SAUSAGE AND POTATO DINNER

One Pan Sausage and Potatoes

Q: Now for the question that everyone has been waiting for: What is your favourite variety of Bothwell Cheese?

A: Jalapeño Monterey Jack is my all-time favourite, but I’m also a big fan of traditional varieties like Maplewood Smoked Extra Old Cheddar and shaved Parmesan from Bothwell’s sister company, Paradise Island Cheese. I could never choose just one favourite!