Kelley O’Hara dishes on clean eating, dessert, and more diet and nutrition rules that keep her in fighting form for the Women’s World Cup

By Cassie Shortsleeve
June 22, 2015
Corbis Images

We've been so psyched to see the U.S. Women's National Soccer Team take to the pitch at the FIFA Women's World Cup this month-and they've got a match today against Colombia in the second stage of the games. One big question we've had while watching the team rack up wins: What do the players need to eat in order to keep up with such an intense training schedule? So we asked, and they dished.

Here, wingback Kelley O'Hara talks fried chicken, hydration, and her mom's cookies. Check back for more interviews with some of our favorite players to find out how what they eat in order to kick major butt on the field! (And find out Why the USWNT Has to Play on Turf at the World Cup.)

Shape: What do you eat on game day to stay fueled?

Kelley O'Hara (KO): On game days, I focus on what I have for breakfast, or a later breakfast/brunch if there is a night game. I usually have some sort of egg dish, like scrambled eggs, or pancakes. I also might have a smoothie with banana, peanut butter, almond milk, cinnamon, chia seeds, and pudding. I have a big, big breakfast which means I eat until I'm pretty full.

Shape: What's your favorite "splurge" food?

KO: Probably donuts or any kind of dessert. I also like any pastries or cookies from a coffee shop. I drink coffee every day, either espresso or cortado, which is two shots espresso and steamed milk.

Shape: Are there any nutrition rules you follow?

KO: I'm lenient when it comes to nutrition rules. I enjoy cooking and baking in general and I just try to eat whole, clean foods. I try to stay away from processed or boxed stuff-but that's not to say I don't eat that from time to time. I really like making Asian noodle salad and also make soup a lot, like tortilla soup.

Shape: If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would be it?

KO: My mom's cookies. She makes chocolate chip and cinnamon raisin chocolate chip.

Shape: What snack do you always keep on you?

KO: I usually really like chia bars (a healthy bar with little chia seeds), pieces of fruits, and carrots and hummus.

Shape: Do you have any specific or quirky meal "routines" you always stick to?

KO: I don't like feeling full when I start a game so that's why I have a bigger meal in morning or four hours before game. I also always have a water bottle on me. I really like the product DripDrop, which is a medical-grade hydration powder that you mix into water. Because of how much we sweat, we need to be hydrated all the time, so I pretty much drink one of those a day.

Shape: Are there any specific foods to the U.S. that you love?

KO: I'm from Georgia and grew up eating Chick-fil-A. I'm obsessed with all forms of fried chicken, like chicken briskets and chicken sandwiches.