Lay off me, I'm starving

So, hi. I'm Brandon. I write about sports and fitness for MF, and we're blogging now. Nice to, um, meet you guys. I'll do my best to update you  on stuff that we just can't quite fit in the pages of the magazine.

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Let's start off with Michael Phelps' absolutely insane diet, k?

It's been covered everywhere already. In between destroying the competition in Beijing, Phelps has been pounding down up to 12,000 calories a day to keep his body fueled up for his daily races. And this isn't health food he's eating. We're talking about multiple fried egg sandwiches and five-egg omelettes, French toast, and chocolate chip pancakes, just for breakfast!

Doesn't make sense, right? How can a lean guy, an elite athlete, no less, get away with eating like crap at the biggest international sporting event in the world?

  • Phelps is probably what we call an ectomorph, which means he's naturally a hard gainer and needs to eat every few hours to put on weight. Doesn't matter if he was a truck driver - he's likely still have to eat more than you and I. The easiest way to do that is to eat high-calorie foods.
  • He's swimming for hours each day. Try swimming for 10 minutes without stopping. Then, catch your breath, and just try and do two consecutive laps. Harder than you think, right? Swimming taxes every single muscle in his body. He needs those calories to train.
  • He's competing almost nightly, so having full glycogen stores is crucial to his performance. He's likely in a constant calorie deficit, believe it or not.

Here's the thing: don't follow his lead. Yes, you should eat often, but those should be healthy meals high in protein and (usually) low in processed carbs. Ah-nold once said something along the lines of, "train like Mr. Olympia, but don't eat like him."

Our thoughts exactly.

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