As us swimming emotion Michael Phelps set his sights on much more gold medal wins in ~ the Beijing Olympics this weekend, the BBC"s Michael Hirst examines the part an especially diet has actually played in the sportsman"s remarkable success.

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If the is true the you room what girlfriend eat, then right here is the said intake if you want to end up being history"s many successful Olympian.

For breakfast: 3 fried egg sandwiches, with cheese, tomatoes, lettuce, fried onions and mayonnaise, adhered to by three chocolate-chip pancakes; a five-egg omelette; 3 sugar-coated slices of French toast and also a key of grits (a maize-based porridge), to wash down v two cup of coffee.

For lunch: half a kilogram (one pound) the enriched pasta; two huge ham and also cheese sandwiches on white bread smothered with mayonnaise, washed under by energy drinks.

For dinner: another half-kilogram of pasta, probably with a carbonara sauce, adhered to by a large pizza and much more energy drinks.

That combination may no sound very healthy, and at a staggering 10,000 calories, would feed 5 average men for a day.

But the food selection is supposedly all in a maintain day"s eating because that champion swimmer Michael Phelps, that won 6 gold medals in the 2004 Athens Olympics and also is aiming because that eight this time round.

"Eat, sleep and swim, that"s every I can do," claimed the united state swimmer, after winning his 11th Olympic gold.

Judging by the amount the eats and swims, that is not altogether surprising.

Fruit and also veg

Even despite the 23-year-old security a solid 5 hours of each day burning turn off those calories, the diet still seems excessive. Is he adhering to some kind of dietician guru"s programme?

Barbara Lewin, a nutritionist who has actually advised worldwide athletes on their dietary health for almost two decades, think not.

"Health-wise, if he were eating like this long-term, he"d more than likely be having to see a cardiologist regularly," mrs Lewin called the BBC.

She encourage cutting out the egg yolks, instead of the white bread with whole-wheat, throwing some fruit and vegetables right into the mix, and also spreading the food out over the job with continuous snacking.

But when the top quality of the calories consumed by the six-foot four-inch (1.93m) swimmer may not it seems ~ healthy, multiple sclerosis Lewin suggested there are great reasons behind grandfather Phelps" diet.

"I"ve functioned with more than 1,000 endurance athletes - swimmers and runners - and one of the most common problems they have actually is glycogen depletion - the result of no getting enough carbohydrates," she said.

"Nine out of 10 times the reason an athlete doesn"t reach their an individual best is since they"re not getting enough carbohydrates and also that"s what her muscles need for food."

Carb counting

Phelps won his sixth gold medal in Beijing in the 200m medley on Friday, and will it is in aiming come equal fellow American mark Spitz"s record of winning seven gold medals in a solitary Olympic gamings when the takes to the pool for Saturday"s 100m fly.

He will break Spitz"s 36-year record if his team qualify, and also go on come win, Sunday"s 4x100m relay.

The very process of complicated that record requires a hectic schedule of heats, semi-finals and finals.

With that sort of turn-around, topping increase his carbohydrate counting is key, multiple sclerosis Lewin suggested. The copious amount of polished carbohydrates consumed in the bread and also pasta that eats will digest quickly and also give the swimmer instant energy.

Phelps, that weighs approximately 85kg (187lbs), understands this. Asked what was required to continue his gold-medal to win streak, he claimed simply: "Get part calories into my mechanism and try to recover the ideal I can."

Keeping his carbohydrates topped up between races, claimed Ms Lewin, is essential for staying clear of what athletes contact "hitting the wall" - that stage in an endurance competition once the body has used up all its carbohydrate fuel (sometimes recognized as muscle glycogen) and instead start the much much less efficient process of burn fat because that energy.

Fat pile-on

The Phelps diet is no recommended for everyone. As result of his muscle-intensive physique, the swimmer"s metabolism - the procedure of converting food into energy - far exceeds that of a an ext average man, claimed Jeff Kotterman, manager of the US national Association of sports Nutrition.

"It"s a combination of height performance coupled v the reality that he has an substantial metabolism - that burns an ext calories sit at a workdesk than a lot of human being burn walking," grandfather Kotterman told the BBC.

He suggested Phelps, v an estimated 8% body fat, more than likely burns 1,000 calories per hour throughout his swimming training, contrasted to the tantamount exercise because that an average human - vigorous wade - that would burn in between 170 and 240 calories.

Consequently, trying to emulate the Phelps diet through consuming approximately 12,000 calories a work in stimulate to attain his physique would more than likely concerned a wobbly end.

One pound of fat has roughly 3,500 calories, so an ordinary man might put on practically three pounds the fat a day.

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But climate again, Michael Phelps - who has actually now winner the 400m medley, 200m freestyle, 200m butterfly, 4x100m free relay, 4x200m complimentary relay and the 200m medley in human being record time - is clearly no ordinary man.