Judith Haudum

Cultural diversity in sports nutrition. Ignored and often forgotten.

Working in high-performance sports also means working with many different nationalities. Many sports, whether team sports or other disciplines, are a melting pot of different cultures. We often forget to consider the diverse cultural backgrounds of individuals when they join a team. Food and nutrition, in particular, reflect different traditions. Sports are global and international, which is fantastic—though sometimes challenging to manage and incorporate into daily menu planning. While working with a team, you may be limited in your ability to offer various nutrient sources in a single meal, but you can (and must) try to provide something for everyone. Ultimately, athletes need to eat to meet their energy demands. A non-eating athlete poses a significant problem.

In nutrition planning for personalized, individualized plans, there should be room for cultural diversity. In challenging times, food provides a sense of security and home. Being stranded somewhere and not finding familiar foods can trigger feelings of fear, sadness, loneliness, isolation, and loss. Familiar food is important for each of us.

Sports nutrition is an excellent way to promote team spirit and mutual respect by incorporating new foods and recognizing and accepting cultural diversity within the team. It can also help bring attention to these different traditions and values we grew up with. It allows us, as nutrition experts, to learn about other countries and try new recipes and foods.

An Austrian dish that my athletes often find on their nutrition plans is Kaiserschmarren. Whether on specific training days or after a mountain stage, there are many situations where it fits well. It is claimed to have been first prepared in the 19th century for Emperor Franz Joseph I. Even today, Kaiserschmarren can be found on the menus of many Austrian inns and is a popular dish in many households.



(4 Servings)

  • 3 eggs
  • 350 g flour (2 ¾ cups)
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar (or honey)
  • 500 ml 1% milk (2 cups)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 3 tbsp raisins
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • Powdered sugar (approx. 1 tbsp)
  • Cinnamon
  • 3-4 cups plum compote or applesauce


Separate egg whites and yolks. Mix egg yolks, sugar, milk, and flour. Add a pinch of salt to the egg whites and beat until stiff. Fold egg whites into the batter and mix well. Heat some oil in a non-stick pan and pour the batter into it. Sprinkle raisins on top. Cook on one side for a few minutes (over medium heat), then flip and tear into pieces with a fork. Do not cook the Kaiserschmarren for too long, or it will become too dry. Sprinkle powdered sugar (and cinnamon) on the batter and serve with compote. Tip: Enjoy as a dessert or main course. Instead of cake flour, whole wheat/spelt flour can be used. For added protein, you can also eat Kaiserschmarren with yogurt.

Nutritional Information (per serving)

653 kcal, 9 g Fat, 120 g Carbohydrates, 9 g Fiber, 14 g Protein, 693 mg Salt

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