Wednesday, August 8, 2012


I'm currently interning at the Gulf News, the UAE's largest and most circulated newspaper and most read online paper.

Last week after American swimmer Michael Phelps broke the record for most Olympic medals (22), we ran a centre-spread in the paper on the great man.

My contribution was a sidebar on what the guy eats on a daily basis during swimming season.  You can read all about it here, or below!

Michael Phelps: The diet of a champion

Dubai; Ham and cheese sandwiches on white bread, chocolate-chip pancakes and French toast richly coated with sugar may seem far from ideal for the diet of an elite athlete. But for Olympic record holder Michael Phelps, it’s what’s usually on the menu during swimming season.

Enriched pasta (half a kilo of it) with carbonara sauce also features regularly on Phelps’ lunch and dinner plate and almost every meal is washed down with a couple of bottles of energy drink, usually Gatorade.

Per day, the 6ft 4in (1.93m) American swimmer racks up a staggering 12,000 calories.

So how can Phelps eat so much and get away with it?

There is a method to the madness. Refined carbohydrates, which he gets from eating items like bread and pasta, allows his body to digest quickly and transform the food into instant energy — exactly what he needs before he hits the water.

Coupled with Phelps’ superhuman physique and metabolism, he burns off most of those calories during his five hours of training a day.

“Eat, sleep and swim, that’s all I can do,” Phelps famously said after winning one of his many gold medals in Athens in 2004.

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