Many athletes experiment with different diets, but some of these dietary programs are the craziest that you may have ever heard about. While this might not be true, some of these athletes believe that their diets will help them to become more competitive. Most athletes enjoy the predictable healthy diet that many have come to expect such as proteins, fruits and vegetables. Some go to lengths to maintain a healthy diet while some think that as long as they are working out, a special diet is not really necessary.
Athletes will usually have every ounce of foot items laid out, meaning a specific amount of calories, protein and carbohydrates. Some will measure down to the last portion of fillet or chicken. Some athletes eat to keep weight off while others eat to keep the weight on, especially in the NFL. Those participating in the Olympics will try to keep a certain diet. For example Son Yeon-Jae, South Korean gymnast typically ate a small breakfast and small lunch portions and sometimes, she would skip dinner. Her regimen allowed her to keep as thin as possible to compete in her sport. She believed that gymnasts from Western countries naturally had longer limbs and looked slimmer. She had to work harder at it to keep her weight constant. She would never include a McDonald’s meal in her diet.
However, there are many athletes that love the food at McDonald’s restaurant. Their rationale is that the fat from eating McDonald’s food will burn off easily while training. This is not the norm because some athletes will never put that kind of food in their stomach for fear of it ruining their chances for that big win. Below is a rundown of the eating habits of some of the best athletes in the world. It ranges from near starvation to eating madness. You decide!
15 John Naber
Most people know John Naber as a former American swimmer, competing in the Olympics. Throughout his swimming career, Naber was able to win four gold medals and one silver medal in past Olympics, breaking some world records. He is quick to admit that while competing, he would usually over eat for the right amount of energy to get him through his workouts. He has consumed close to 8,000 calories each day, eating scrambled eggs for breakfast. He would douse his scrambled eggs with lots of honey. He would have a whole box of frosted flakes and an entire carton of milk for snacks in between meals. He just had to have a double portion of desserts after.
14 Lamar Odom
Lamar Odom, an NBA basketball player was fixated with eating candies. He loves jelly beans and starbursts. Before playoff games and even in his day-to-day life, he would consume a large amount of these types of candies, believing that it helped with his performance on the basketball court. One time, he ate an entire plate for breakfast. Perhaps he was just trying to justify eating all that candy, living out his childhood dreams.
13 Michael Arnstein
Michael Arnstein has had major success in the Olympics and attributes his success to eating fruits and vegetables. When he read about it, he went on the “80/10/10" diet, which consisted of 80% of fruits and vegetables, 10% of fat and 10% of protein. Arnstein discovered the diet while competing as a marathon runner in the Olympics, but he took it to another level. On his blog, he calls himself the “Fruitarian.” He claims that after he tried out other diets, he determined that fruits and vegetables were going to be his only food source. He indicated that this is the healthier form of being a vegan. He claims to have never cheated. For a late snack at night, he consumes grapes or some other seasonal fruit.
12 Chad Johnson - McDonald's Diet
Chad "Ocho Cinco" Johnson isn't the only athlete to eat his fair share of McDonald's but he seems to follow his McDonald's diet religiously. Johnson has McDonald's just about every day. He does also follow his workout routine religiously, having many successful years in the NFL for the Cincinnati Bengals and now in the CFL with the Montreal Alouettes.
"Don't let them tell you that McDonald's is bad for you, " says Johnson. "Eat what you wanna eat and you work out the way you're supposed to. It's not gonna bother you."
Johnson also goes so far as to say he "survives" on McDonald's.
11 Usain Bolt
Jamaican born track and field runner, Usain Bolt has won several gold medals in the Olympics. The gold medal sprinter from Jamaica attributes his wins to eating chicken nuggets from McDonald’s restaurant. He is said to eat the nuggets up to four times each day for the entire two weeks while he was in Beijing during the Summer Games in 2008. It is reported that he didn’t like the local Chinese food and so opted for 40 nuggets each meal. It is estimated that he ate about 1,000 nuggets while in China. He would visit McDonalds late at night to buy his desired nuggets.
10 Louis Smith
British Gymnast and bronze medalist, Louis Smith loves exotic foods. During his training to make the team for the 2008 Beijing games, he had no carbohydrates and only ate white meat or fish. He ate fruit and porridge for breakfast. While that seems to be all well and good for an athlete, he has ventured into some crazy meals. He has reportedly eaten sliced sheep’s tongue when he went to the Ukraine. One time, he went to France and had cooked testicles of sheep.
9 Venus Williams
Venus Williams is known for her amazing play on the tennis court, winning several medals as a tennis star. It is reported that, in 2011, she received an autoimmune diagnosis called Sjorgren’s Syndrome. After her diagnosis, she started a raw vegetarian diet. She ate mostly uncooked vegetables and fruits every day. She also loaded up on lentils, green juices and sprout salads. She calls herself a ‘cheagan’ because she cheats with her diet on occasion.
8 Kobe Bryant
Kobe Bryant and his Los Angeles Lakers stand by their commitment to the Paleo diet. The famous “Butter, Bacon and Bone Broth,” is the regimen that many of the team members are restricted to. Kobe and his players are encouraged to eat good fats and anything ‘grass fed.’ This is said to be found in foods like butter, bacon and steak. It gives the players more energy. The steak is dressed with butter and thrown on a grill. In addition, each day, Kobe and his teammates drink up to two cups of broth made from the bones of cows that are ‘grass fed.’
7 Michael Phelps
Olympic swimmer, Michael Phelps is known for his heroics in the pool. He also had one of the more unusual diets, consuming more than 12,000 calories each day. This may consists of pasta, French toast, large pizzas, five egg omelets and large sandwiches. Because of his workout regimen, he burned off many of the calories that he consumed. So, don’t attempt this at home! And don't go jumping into the pool after that much. This man is a machine.
6 Serena Williams
Serena Williams has followed in the footsteps of her sister's raw vegan diet. Both sisters live together and Serena didn’t want to make the diet harder for her sister, Venus who was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease. Serena eats raw veggies and fruits just like her sister, but she also occasionally cheats. We'll see if Serena sticks to the diet after she retires or she moves out on her own.
5 Dwight Freeney
Dwight Freeney has been one of the best pass rushers of his generation, mostly with the Colts. A February 2010 issue of Sports Illustrated revealed that Freeney’s diet consisted of tea, grape juice and water. It is said that he brings his own ingredients to any restaurant that he goes to. He tells the servers how he wants his meals prepared, without pepper, garlic or oil. He relies on the Sari Mellman’s Dietary Progression, which is a practice that depends on normal blood assessment to highlight different foods to boost endurance, swiftness and strength.
4 Kazakhstan Olympic Wrestlers
Before going to their games, the Olympic wrestlers in Kazakhstan eat horse meat, made from sausages and guts. The team claims that horse sausages bolster their abilities and skills in weight lifting. Many wonder if the horse sausages were the reason that the team won nine Olympic gold medals and 39 medals altogether since 1996. Every country has their own philosophy as to what will help peak performance. Who knows, maybe we'll see this diet spread.
3 Dwyane Wade
Dwyane Wade is known for his skill on the NBA basketball court with the Miami Heat. He is said to love his Chlorophyll Smoothies. He has embraced ‘juicing.’ He understood at the age of 30 that he could no longer expect the same energetic performance by continuing to eat cheeseburgers. His smoothie is made with ginger, beets and chlorophyll. He prefers fruit salads instead of veggies. If it helps extend his career, then we're all for it.
2 Wade Boggs
The Boston Red Sock hall of famer Wade Boggs loves him some chicken. He consumed a whole chicken before every single game. He also drank a huge of amount of beer while flying to games with his teammates. Does it get any more manly than that? A whole chicken and a beer and then going out and belting out some hits? There was actually an urban legend that Boggs once drank 64 beers on a flight from Boston to Los Angeles.
1 Lyoto Machida
Lyoto Machida is one of the most successful fighters in the UFC. He has one of the strangest customs. He consumes his own urine. Yes, he does. This might emit a distasteful response from you, but Lyoto thinks that his urine is medicine. He believes that his urine gets rid of toxins in his body and strengthens his immune system. It is said that he even likes the taste of his own urine. His father passed on the custom to him.
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