How to Create An Athlete's Kitchen

How to Create An Athlete's Kitchen

By: Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS

You wake up at o’dark hundred every morning to run. You strength-train after work. You’re competing in Spartan Races on the weekends. You’re an elite… But is your kitchen? Here are some tools from a “kitchen coach” to consider, so that this crucial space can become your training MVP.

Storage Organizers

Backsplash systems work great for organizing and storing spices, knives and supplements in handy locations, close to where they’ll be used. There are even new systems that include outlets, smart phone and tablet chargers, so that you can conveniently power up your new Vitamix and look up new protein shake recipes at the same time.

A slow cooker, especially one with a keep warm setting, can be a busy athlete’s best friend. Slow cooked meals can be very low fat, without loss of flavor, and will cook dinner while you’re at work. Having dinner ready when you get home saves you the temptation of going for fast food.

Many athletes like to juice. You’ll want a solid, sturdy juicer for that and keep it convenient to the refrigerator where the fruits and vegetables are also stored. If you’re short on counter space – as many kitchens are – you might want a roll-out tray or mixer lift to store the juicer when it’s not in use.

Big Appliances for Big Results

Induction cooktop is the ideal cooking surface. It saves time in both heating and cleanup, getting you out the door faster. It also delivers high performance with energy efficiency, so your meals taste great and you’re saving the ozone layer for future races – and racers.

A convection-steam oven can deliver delicious meals cooked to perfection with minimal fats. It is also great for reheating or defrosting leftovers. Most of these ovens are built in, and worth considering if you’re planning a kitchen remodel. Some don’t need to be plumbed, making them easier to install in an existing kitchen.

More Gear

Millions of kitchens have tile floors. They are extremely hard to stand on, especially when you’re preparing all your shakes and meals for the week. You’re already putting stress on your feet, ankles, hips and back when you train and compete. Why give them added discomfort? If you’re not ready to change your flooring – or like the looks of what you have – consider a comfort mat in your prime prep areas. If you are considering a change, Marmoleum or cork are excellent joint-friendly alternatives.

You’re also going to benefit from task lighting, so that your chicken gets trimmed and your carrots get sliced, not your fingertips. You need those for climbing rocks and traverse walls! Consider energy-efficient LED under-cabinet lights to illuminate your prep areas. They won’t get hot while you’re working, adding comfort to the equation.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for advice on updating or remodeling your kitchen for peak performance, please contact me about a local or long-distance consultation, depending on your location.

Jamie Gold, CKD, CAPS is a 2014 Trifecta finisher, author of New Kitchen Ideas That Work (Taunton Press) and a Certified Kitchen Designer in San Diego.