Michael Phelps looks on after he competed in the championship final of the Men's 100 m Butterfly during Day Seven of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 1, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska.
Michael Phelps looks on after he competed in the championship final of the Men's 100 m Butterfly during Day Seven of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Swimming Team Trials at CenturyLink Center on July 1, 2012 in Omaha, Nebraska. Al Bello - Getty Images

Hungry for gold

FRIED eggs, pizza, pasta and chocolate chip pancakes - the food of champions?

Well, it must be because they are just some of the items on the daily menu of Olympic swimming legend Michael Phelps.

The American superstar apparently feasts on a staggering 12,000 calories every day - the intake for an average person is around 5000 a day for men and 4000 for women.

Phelps, who has won 16 Olympic medals to date, starts his day with a hearty breakfast consisting of three fried-egg sandwiches, three chocolate chip pancakes, a five-egg omelette, three sugar-coated slices of French toast, and a bowl of grits (maize porridge).

His lunch doesn't get much smaller as he devours half a kilo of pasta (enriched with vitamins and fibre), two large ham and cheese sandwiches covered in mayonnaise. He washes it all down with energy drinks.

For his final meal of the day, Phelps tucks into more pasta, followed by pizza and more energy drinks.

Personal trainer, nutritionist and weight management expert Jenny Dawes said while Phelps' diet would be dangerous for a regular person, he needed that amount of energy for training.

"A regular competitive male swimmer would need around 6000 calories a day, but because Michael is in Olympic mode he will be training so hard that he will be burning it straight off," Dawes said. "His cholesterol intake is very high, but by swimming constantly there is no time for the cholesterol to stick to his arteries.

"I would think his cholesterol levels are checked regularly to ensure he is not putting his body at risk for future cardiovascular disease."



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