Sha’Carri Richardson Shares the ‘Biggest Keys’ to Preparing Her Body for Her First Olympics

Updated: Jun. 07, 2024

The world-class track and field athlete on what (and when) she's eating, her hard-stop bedtime, and the dessert she can't wait to try in Paris.

Following the 2023 World Championships in Budapest last August, Sha’Carri Richardson is heading into the 2024 Paris Olympics as the fastest woman in the world. The 24-year-old previously faced a last-minute suspension from the 2020 Olympics due to testing positive for THC metabolites, which she attributes to cannabis use to cope with the stress of her biological mother’s death a week before Olympic trials. However, four years later, Richardson is again dominating the track and field world, and she has her eyes set on the gold.

In a partnership with yogurt manufacturer Danone, Richardson is highlighting just how crucial it is to fuel our bodies with a healthy diet balanced with high protein to get us through our days, no matter whether we’re going for a jog after work or training for the Olympics.

Richardson spoke with The Healthy by Reader’s Digest to share how she’s going a “step further” in her approach to nutrition ahead of the games, her standard bedtime routine and the decadent French dessert she’s most excited to try in Paris.

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The Healthy: Sha’Carri, the games are getting closer. Tell us about your routine right now.

Sha’Carri Richardson: Coming into this summer, I’m definitely taking it a step further to be mindful of everything that I’m eating. I’m paying more attention to what I’m eating, and even the times I eat. Going into this year, something that’s different is just my attentiveness to my foods, and also my hydration.

One of the quick drinks or snacks I like to grab are the Oikos Pro Drinks, with 23 grams of protein, or the Pro Shots, with 10 grams of protein. It’s so convenient and it allows me to go about my day while still getting something that is filling and protein-packed on the go. If I don’t want a full meal after practice, I know I can turn to these new products and get a similar protein level in my body.

The Healthy: We know you’ll be busy, but what are you most looking forward to enjoying in Paris outside of the games?

Sha’Carri Richardson: I’m really excited just to experience all that Paris has to offer! I was just there, and I didn’t get to really explore it because I didn’t feel like I had earned my right to be there just yet. More than anything, I’m really, really excited to try some Paris crepes!

The Healthy: We are jealous! How will you be sure you’re well rested?

Sha’Carri Richardson: Even on a day-to-day basis—not just before a race—I try to be in bed early, before 10:00 p.m., because I do like to be up early, but I know I need to get a good amount of sleep. Shutting down my day that early helps me recover in a more efficient way.

My sleeping schedule and routine are very consistent because I feel that sleep is one of the biggest key components in recovery. So, I’m very consistent about getting in bed before 10:00 p.m.

The Healthy: Self-care must be such an important factor when you’re facing so much pressure and stress. What’s the self-care practice you can never skip?

Sha’Carri Richardson: Soaking in the tub. That’s one of my favorite things that I do for myself, and I cannot skip it!