Diet Disasters

One of the best ways to learn how to do things is to fail first or just learn from those who have experienced a full-on sports nutrition meltdown. Here, some horror stories:

"Before a game against Japan, one of my teammates who was (is) battling Epstein-Barr syndrome was in a juicing trend. I love veggies and fruits, so I told her I would have one. Well, thirty-two ounces of delicious juice later, I had the worst stomach cramps and we had about an hour before our warm-up. I couldn't get off the floor and could barely move for the entire warm-up. I returned to the locker room, where finally I was able to rid myself of the gas (thanks to some more curling up and some Tums). That was the worst pain I had experienced due to food or drink."

—Brandi Chastain, U.S. Women's Soccer Team, Olympic gold medalist

"I did an Ironman in Nice, France, and all was going great on the bike. I was feeling strong and my nutrition had been really smooth. Then I missed my special-needs bag at the halfway point and didn't get any calories for the last eighty kilometers of the bike. That didn't put me in a good situation for the run. The wheels fell off. There was no way I could make up the calories I missed, and I did quite a bit of walking to finish the race and saw my hopes of winning go out the window. This made me always have two or three backup plans for every situation that could happen."

—Tim DeBoom, two-time Hawaii Ironman world champion

"I was in Japan at a World Cup and ate sushi for lunch the day before the race. My stomach was a little upset that evening so I chewed a Pepto-Bismol tablet and went to bed. On race morning I woke up and my tongue was entirely black. I was really worried that I was seriously ill and considered going to the hospital instead of the race start. I ended up having one of my best races ever and it turns out that black tongue is actually a side effect of the Pepto. . . . Who knew?" —Samantha McGlone, professional triathlete

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