SportsJunk Food Sponsors Team USA, Even Though Olympians Would Never Put That Garbage in Their Bodies
A former Olympian speaks out about the irony of Team USA’s biggest sponsors.
The bodies of Olympic athletes are often—quite aptly—compared to superior machines. If they’re a European sports car, the rest of us are Archie’s jalopy. And just as a Ferrari will driver is careful about filling their tank with regular unleaded, elite athletes are picky eaters. Olympians have specific diets—tailored to their bodies and sports—designed to achieve maximum efficiency.
Yet, some some of the purveyors of the world’s least healthy “food”—McDonald’s, Coca Cola, Kellogg’s—sponsor Team USA. They pay mightily to place Olympians’ visages and ideal bodies all over foodstuffs, proffering a dual notion that 1) these companies want to support the Olympics and Team USA (true!) and 2) these athletes are on board with these products and if you eat them, you can be like an elite athlete (not at all true!).
We wondered about the latter, so we asked a former Olympian (who chose to remain anonymous), someone who has competed in several games over the past decade, if he could support the foods and beverages that support Team USA.
GQ: When you were training, would you consider eating a Quarter Pounder, fries, or a cheeseburger from McDonald’s?
How could one consider eating something that is known to cause serious health issues? Frozen pizza would be better, or even ice cream.
How about one of McDonald’s healthier items, like a Premium Caesar Salad with Grilled Chicken?
Those products are made with basic greens; they're bad, but it's mostly water in the lettuce leaf. McDonald’s dressings that have contents similar to their Big Mac sauce—it's like putting lipstick on a pig.
Kellogg’s is pushing the hashtag #getmestarted. Would you ever start your day with their Frosted Flakes, Mini Wheats, or Special K with Red Berries?
In commercials how they say, "part of a balanced breakfast.. You're not getting anything you really need like protein, natural sugars, minerals, etc. It's quick burning fuel that spikes your blood sugar level. That's why kids love it and it's targeted toward kids.
What about their Eggos or Pop-Tarts?
In an emergency I've eaten Eggos with peanut butter and bananas. Pop-Tarts are like eating a Krispy Kreme doughnut, which makes you feel like you’re working out hungover. It's painful and you feel terrible.
How about Krave Beef jerky (or any jerky, really)?
They taste great but it's salt salt salt. Things like salt are good in moderation, but these products do not have moderate servings of it, or anything else your body needs.
Was a Coke something you would ever have while you were training?
That stuff strips pennies. Why would you drink it?
How about Diet Coke?
No chance. Aspartame does some scary things to the body.
What about Hershey? They make the chocolate you add to s’mores, but also Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
I guess I would consider eating one if there was literally nothing else to eat, if I'd been training for two hours and had another two hours to go.
Chobani Greek yogurt—it’s delicious and yogurt is healthy, right?
Greek yogurt is great. The sugar involved with flavors are the secret to making it delicious though. Avoid that and you're okay. If you eat unflavored plain yogurt, you're basically an Olympian.