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WNBA Star Elena Delle Donne Shares Swimsuit Video In the Pool

Here is her advice for young players.

Elena Delle Donne is making great use of her precious time off by hitting the pool and having fun. The Washington Mystics Forward, 34, shared a video of herself wearing a blue and orange bikini, lounging in a pool float in the shape of a giant donut. Donne humorously attempts to drink a seltzer from a water pistol, and doesn't quite manage it. "Don't choke sis!!!! 😂😂😂😂😂" commented a friend. Donne trains incredibly hard and is open about what it takes to be a champion—here are the rules she lives by.


Game Day Diet

Donne enjoys a protein-packed diet on game days. "My wife, Amanda, makes me breakfast on home game days," she says. "(It's) usually eggs, pancakes and bacon. I like to snack throughout the day, as well. My go-to for that would be apples with peanut butter. Usually an hour before the game, I have half a bagel with peanut butter. I try to keep it light the few hours before a game but then after the game, I'll refuel with pasta and a protein… Definitely a lot of protein and good carbs, so foods like chicken, brown rice, sweet potato, etc. Whatever the meal is, it has to be packed with nutrients to fuel me for my game. For dinner, one of my favorite dishes is chicken with sautéed onions, mashed sweet potatoes, and veggies."


Managing Lyme Disease


Donne has Lyme disease, which makes it even more important for her to follow a healthy diet. "It's a struggle because your schedule is so packed that you just want to turn to what's quickest and most convenient," she says. "However, I always remind myself that my diet is important not only for my basketball career, but also for my health in managing my Lyme disease. So it's really important to try and stay true to my nutrition plan. At this point, I'm used to playing in different cities, so I've found my go-to spots in each city where I know I'll be able to find a great meal. I have to take lots of medicine/supplements for my Lyme disease, so most of what I take is centered around that. The supplements help with joint and muscle inflammation and then other supplements to support my immune system.


Staying Active On Days Off

Donne takes one day off a week from training. "I make sure I at least have one day off [a week], and I try every day to do something to pour back into my body," she says. "I ask a lot of it, and I don't put back into it enough. It's something I'm working on." Donne stays active even on her off days. "There were days when I was so sick and so tired I didn't feel like I could do anything, but I always made sure to do something. Like get up and walk, or do something active," she says. "The more you lay around, the worse you feel. You're in a funk. Even just going outside and feeling the breeze, that makes you feel a little bit more awake."


Dealing With Nerves


Donne has learned to live with nerves when it comes to competing. "I think that [having nerves] is never going to go away, which is a good thing. I kind of like nerves," she says. "It means I'm ready…We all have those little jitters. The second I touch the basketball and start warming up and shooting, they're gone. You're right back at home on the court."


Advice For Athletes

Donne's advice to younger athletes is to work on having a balanced diet. "It's obviously a large part of what allows your body to be in peak form to compete at a professional level," she says. "I would just recommend making sure you do your research and find out what works best for your body, because it's different for everyone. The key is having a well-rounded nutrition plan that includes a little bit of everything. Also know that no one is perfect, so you shouldn't be too hard on yourself. It's OK to indulge every now and then or have cheat meals, just focus on getting back on track afterwards."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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