We all luxuriate in the performance of the nation's top sportspeople. But contrary to popular misconceptions, athletes are not superhuman. Indeed, they are blessed with an abundance of skill and class, but even the best sporting talents in the world know that a good diet plays an essential role in maximising performance levels.
It might seem insignificant, but small changes to your diet could amount to considerable improvements in your overall fitness in time. And taking control of your diet is much simpler than you think. If you don't believe us, just take a look at the eight healthy meal options below endorsed by some of Ireland's best athletes.
He puts in a monstrous effort on the pitch and big workloads require a lot of fuel. This is Sean O'Brien's take on the humble omelette.
Even though he's no longer compelled to keep in shape for sport, retired rugby international Brian O'Driscoll still respects the importance of a healthy diet. Not long after his daughter Sadie was born, the leading try scorer in Ireland said that impending retirement would not impinge on his commitment to staying in shape.
I have a fat person in here bursting to get out so I know I can't just indulge in whatever I want. Hopefully, vanity will get the better of me on that and I won't let myself go. My nutritional knowledge is good enough to figure out what's good, what's bad and where my leeway is. I'm fairly adventurous with my eating. I've tried kangaroo, and Moreton Bay bugs, which are a kind of lobster, are so good.
Not too unlike his team mate Sean O'Brien, Ireland's Cian Healy needs to load up on food before taking to the pitch. Rugby is a high dynamic sport with an exceptional emphasis on physicality so packing up on the nutrients is essential. Carbohydrates form a major part of an athlete's dietary plan because they release energy slowly. And if you're looking for some suitable dinner ideas, take a look at these creations from the prop.
Rehydration after exercise is a crucial part of your recovery. Naturally, you can't neglect the importance of water but here is another tasty alternative from Dublin corner back Philly McMahon.
Snacks are probably the hardest food options for athletes to find that aren't laced in sugar or fat. But having something to eat shortly after exercise is equally as important as rehydration. Kilkenny hurler Michael Fennelly has a simple and colourful solution to that problem.
Michael Darragh McAuley
Sparing the time to consume the five fruit and vegetables per day can be difficult at times but All-Ireland winning footballer Michael Darragh McAuley offers one way you can combine them all to get them into the system quicker.
And here is just how far Clare dual star Podge Collins is willing to go to ensure he gets all the right vitamins into his diet.
It always seems easier to just forget about preparing your own lunch and stroll down to the local shop to buy a sandwich. But making your own meals can be far more economical and often more nutritious. This is how Ireland's Jamie Heaslip manages to incorporate several vital food groups into just one simple dish.