15 August 2008

The diet of performance athletes

Here is Michael Phelps' dietary regimen during the Olympics:
For breakfast: three fried egg sandwiches, with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise, followed by three chocolate-chip pancakes; a five-egg omelette; three sugar-coated slices of French toast and a bowl of grits (a maize-based porridge), washed down with two cups of coffee.

For lunch: half a kilogramme (one pound) of enriched pasta; two large ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread smothered with mayonnaise, washed down by energy drinks.

For dinner: Another half-kilogramme of pasta, perhaps with a carbonara sauce, followed by a large pizza and more energy drinks.
Apparently no between-meal snacks. More details and analysis at this BBC link, including these notes:
That combination may not sound very healthy, and at a staggering 10,000 calories, would feed five average men for a day...

He suggested Phelps, with an estimated 8% body fat, probably burns 1,000 calories per hour during his swimming training, compared to the equivalent exercise for an average person - vigorous walking - that would burn between 170 and 240 calories...

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