Few meals taste better than ones that come after a competition — particularly if you've won. For many recreational athletes, a post-game beer and burger or slice and soda is as mandatory as the match-up itself. But, along with their finely tuned training regimens and nutritional plans, the pros take the post-play menu to another level. This is how some of the top athletes reward themselves after a day at the office. [via mensfitness]
Billy Demong, Olympic skier
"After a big race I yearn for a great steak! It's hard to come by in Europe but if I get my way [I'll have] some medium rare flank steak grilled to perfection with some roasted root vegetables to replace the carbs burned. Maybe all accompanied by some fresh greens for health's sake."
Jermaine O'Neal, Miami Heat basketball player
"My favorite post game dish is chicken fettucini because of the carbs and I love chicken."
Apolo Ohno: Olympic speed-skater
"I have many post-race meals but one of them is Coconut Chicken Curry with Washington fingerling potatoes. It's the perfect match for a long day of training or racing where I need to fuel my body with the right proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables to boot. I make it in a slow cooker. One of my good friends, Sov, initially showed me his version of the recipe."
Dean Karnazes, ultramarathonner
"My favorite post-race meal has to include wild salmon. It's a great source of high-quality protein and is loaded with Omega-3's. Fresh organic vegetables are the perfect complement. There's a local market near my house, called Woodlands, and they always have the freshest salmon available. Living in the San Francisco Bay Area has its advantages!"
Alex Rodriguez, New York Yankees' third baseman
According to People.com, A-Rod and his friends (including former gal pal Kate Hudson) frequently hit Mustang Grill, a Mexican restaurant in Manhattan, after games. Previously, he was spotted at another Manhattan Mexican joint, Dos Caminos, with another date, Madonna.
John Benton: Olympic curler
Ryan Miller, Buffalo Sabres (and 2010 Team USA) hockey goalie
"I try to hydrate and have a recovery shake that get some calories back into my body immediately following a game. Lately [my post-game meal] has been a sushi appetizer and chicken with some rice or potatoes at a friend's restaurant."
Tony Benshoof, Olympic luger
After a long day on the icy track, this athlete warms up with a loaded pizza with anchovies and hot peppers.
Zaza Pachulia, Atlanta Hawks basketball player
"It's all about getting protein, so I usually go for steak and vegetables, and lots of water, at my [Mediterranean] restaurant, Eno by Zaza [in Atlanta]."
Ted Ligety, Olympic skier
"That's an easy one. My favorite post race meal has got to be a nice juicy steak with potatoes and asparagus, but I [almost] never get it because steak and potatoes aren't a part of the European diet. Except at the Tetterhof where we stay in Schladming [Austria]. They always make the team an incredible steak dinner after the night slalom there."
Cleveland Cavaliers basketball players
Anthony Parker chows on steak or pasta, and occasionally, seafood. Shaq goes the lighter route with a grilled chicken caesar salad. LeBron James replenishes his carbs with a pasta dish along with some sort of fish.
Curt Tomasevicz, Olympic bob-sledder
"My favorite quick post-competition meal would probably be a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. The peanut butter has to be super crunchy and it must be grape jelly. Yes, it's a good quick supply of protein, but mostly because it is my favorite food and it reminds me of home."
Tiger Woods, golfer
After Tiger won his first Masters back in '98, he chose chicken sandwiches, cheeseburgers, french fries and milkshakes for the post-tourney menu. And we're guessing he wishes he could turn back the clock to the time when his greatest worry was winning and making his mind up about a meal.
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