Our next few blog posts will be dedicated to the swimming community. It is championship season for many competitive swimmers, who will be competing at meets like U.S Open, Junior Nationals, and TYR Pro Series meets coming up. We would like to give a food guide with restaurant and meal recommendations for these events. First up is host to the 2021 U.S Open (Dec. 1-4), Greensboro, NC.
3000 W Gate City Blvd.
Greensboro, NC 27403
A staple swim team restaurant. Many coaches will pick this spot as a dinner stop for their team. Olive Garden has lots of options, at a reasonable price and the one in Greensboro is very close to the Aquatic Center. While a lot of athletes feel the need to load up on pasta during competition, it is not always the best option. Many of Olive Garden’s portions of pasta are loaded with oils, melted cheese, and additives. Though, they do have a few good menu items. Here is what we recommend and why.
- Herb-Grilled Salmon
- Good source of protein and Omega-3’s
- Rich in vitamins and minerals
- Helps the immune system stay healthy
- Shrimp Scampi
- Good protein to carb ratio for optimal performance and recovery
- Shrimp supports heart and bone health, containing many vitamins
- Lean meat that will not sit with you the next day
- Grilled Chicken Margarita
- Grilled chicken is high in protein and low in fat
- The pesto & lemon garlic sauce is a much better option than having a dish with alfredo or other creamier sauce – these are high in fat and calorie content. Can upset your stomach the next day (race day).
- If you cannot handle melted cheese the day before meat, go without cheese. If you want lighter cheese, go no cheese and have them add light parm at the table.
- Spaghetti with marinara
- Marinara is rich in vitamins A, K, B & C
- Marinara regulates blood sugar and can aid in reducing aches/pains
- Again, a better option over alfredo/white sauces
- Spaghetti is a good source of carbohydrates to fuel your body
- Consider adding grilled chicken or shrimp to add lean protein
*Many of these dishes come with broccoli. We don’t recommend broccoli be consumed during a swim meet, swap for asparagus. Broccoli can disrupt the digestive tract. It also provides a lot of gas and bloating – both things you don’t want during a meet.
2100 Koury Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27407
Bonefish Grill is another restaurant with a larger menu close to the pool, good for teams to order from or go to. Like Olive Garden, there are some sneaky options that are not as healthy as you may think. Here are our picks.
- Lily’s Chicken
- Provides great protein
- Comes with spinach, which is a good source of iron, it also has vitamin E and magnesium which supports the immune system.
- The artichokes this dish contains provide an excellent source of vitamin K, folate, vitamin C, and potassium
- Its lemon herb sauce is light and will not sit heavy in the stomach for race day. To be safe, get it on the side and add a little yourself.
- Chicken Marsala
- Another good protein option, this one includes prosciutto, as well.
- While nutrient-dense, prosciutto is high in fat. Consume a small amount or get the entrée without it.
- The mushrooms in this dish are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and extra protein.
- The wine sauce is another good lighter sauce than others to sit with you on race day(s).
- Florida Cobb
- This spin on a cobb, includes mango, tomato, and blue cheese
- Mango is a good source of vitamins A, K & C. Also, a good source of beta-carotene, potassium, folate, and magnesium. Great combo to boost the immune system over several days of racing.
- Tomatoes are high in vitamins C, K, E & B. Tomatoes are a high antioxidant food. They contain lycopene, which is good for the heart and lungs.
- Blue cheese is good in moderation. Has calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and A/B vitamins. Does contain high-fat content and salt, so if unsure ask for salad without.
- Add protein to the salad for proper fuel. Grilled chicken or shrimp are your best options.
- Chicken and Shrimp Meal
- Jumbo shrimp brushed in a light sauce with grilled chicken. This dish is a great source of protein, and the meat is not drenched in sauce.
- Try adding a side salad or some asparagus with jasmine rice to add some good starch and carbs for a well-rounded dinner.
1430 Westover Terrace
Greensboro, NC 27408
Menu link: https://www.corelifeeatery.com/menu/
CoreLife is an absolute home run when eating on the road. They offer salads, grain bowls, bone broth bowls, and so much more. Their focus is on organic, non-GMO, and in-season foods. They make all their dressings and sauces in-house. Ask for dressing/sauce on the side so you can add in a small amount to provide significant flavor but without it being too heavy for race day. Their homemade lemonades are amazing, but save all that sugar for an after meet treat.
- Greek Chicken & Quinoa
- Provides great protein and carb balance.
- Ask for tzatziki sauce on the side. Sauces can be heavy and fatty – not great race fuel.
- Southwest Grilled Chicken & Purple Rice
- More calories for a significantly more sustaining meal than Greek Chicken & Quinoa.
- Remove the black beans during race day. Gas and bloating are side effects of eating beans. Not ideal when putting on that tech suit.
- Chicken Tortilla Bone Broth Bowl
- A lighter option with tons of antioxidants from the bone broth.
- Remove the black beans during race day.
- Build Your Own Bowl
- Add a lean protein like chicken, a grain or carb like rice, as well as veggies.
- Avoid large amounts of dairy, beans, broccoli, kale, and cabbage as these foods increase gas and bloating.
1201 W Gate City Blvd
Greensboro, NC 27403
Tropical Smoothie is a good option for lunch while competing in Greensboro. Go for some of their solid food options over smoothies. Most of their smoothies are high in sugar, carbs, and fat. There are, however, a few good smoothie options listed below, along with other good choices.
- Baja Chicken Wrap (38g protein)
- Caribbean Jerk Chicken Wrap (37g protein)
- Thai Chicken Salad
- A lighter option for those who do not like heavy meals between sessions
- Chicken Pesto Flatbread
- Nice protein/carb ratio and not heavy on the cheese
- Smoothies with lower end sugar/fat content
- Blueberry Bliss
- Detox Island Green
- Island Green
- Sunrise Sunset
- Mango Magic
- Triple Berry Oat (#1 recommendation as it has lower sugar/calories and higher protein than their other smoothies!)
416 N Eugene St
Greensboro, NC 27401
Our last restaurant recommendation before moving on to hotel eats is Acropolis. The Mediterranean eatery offers a variety of good options as a meal during a championship meet. Fresh Mediterranean cuisine is one of the healthiest options available. Just be cautious of high onion usage in many dishes. Be prepared to ask for your order without, so you do not wreck your stomach the day of, or the night before racing. Many of the choices below are combinations of meats and sauces already mentioned, to refer to health and competition benefits.
- Acropolis Soups
- Fakes and Vegetable Beef are healthy options. Both consist of lighter broths and contain healthy lentils, and/or veggies. The vegetable beef option will give you the most protein. Add some pita bread for extra carb fuel.
- Note: soup does tend to be high in sodium, so if you are someone who bloats or gets inflamed easily, avoid these options.
- Traditional Greek Salad
- Decide if you want to keep the onion and peppers. Add lean protein to top it off.
- Athenian Baked Chicken
- Chicken Saltsa Pasta
- Recommended without cheese
- Spaghetti with marinara
- Recommended to add grilled chicken
- Chicken or pork souvlaki
- Grilled meat, served on a bed of rice pilaf
- Chicken Souvlaki Sandwich or Veggie Sandwich
- Get any sauce on side, or go without
- Good lunch options with a side salad (again light on onion and dressing)
*If you are not used to Mediterranean cuisine, then probably best to leave this restaurant out and stick with other restaurant recommendations.
It is likely that most swimmers attending the U.S Open will be eating their breakfast at whichever hotel they are staying. When choosing from your typical breakfast buffets, go with one the following high-carb combinations:
- Toasted Bagel + Nut Butter + Banana + Fruit (berries, melon)
- Eggs + Toast with Jelly + Oatmeal with Toppings
- Oatmeal with Toppings + Banana
- Waffle + Eggs + Banana/Orange
- 10-20oz Water
If your hotel does not provide breakfast, BYOF (bring your own food). At a minimum, your room should have a microwave and hopefully a fridge. Make one of the above combos in your room.
PRE-MEET/DURING MEET FUEL
- Small Orange
- Pack of Honey Stinger Chews
- Superhero Muffin
- Rice Cake
- HU Crackers
- Handful Grapes
- ½ Lara Bar
- Note: Don’t forget recovery food, immediately following your last race of the session: Protein Shake or Bar with Equal Carbs/Equal Protein – Lara Protein, Primal Kitchen Protein Bar, RX Layers Bar
This wraps up our restaurant and meal recommendations for athletes competing at the U.S Open the first week of December. We hope these options help and give you the fuel you need to have all the success in Greensboro! For those of you competing at Junior Nationals in Greensboro, hold on to this list. Austin swimmers, we will be coming out with another guide next week. Stay tuned!
*Note: I am not personally a certified nutritionist. These recommendations were made by consulting with the BWB team.