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Michael Phelps’ Olympic-Size Diet

Hot & Cool Food Trends

U.S. Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps, who has now won more medals than anyone in the history of the Olympics, eats like a champ, too.

The 27-year-old athlete, whose arm span of 6 feet 7 inches is wider than he is tall (6' 4"), maintains a humongous diet that has him feasting on upwards of 12,000 calories a day.

Phelps starts the day with a breakfast of three fried-egg sandwiches, three chocolate chip pancakes, a five-egg omelet, three slices of sugary French toast, and a bowl of grits.

His lunch consists of a heaping plate of pasta, enriched with vitamins and fiber, two large ham and cheese sandwiches with lots of mayo, washed down with gallons of energy drinks.

For Phelps’ evening meal, he scarfs down more pasta, along with pizza and more energy drinks. (I guess there aren't any Subway sandwich shops in London--certainly none in the Olympic Village, where McDonald's has exclusive rights. So the Subway spokesman apparently must do without during the games.)

Nutritionist and personal trainer Jenny Dawes says that Phelps’ diet would be dangerous for the average person, an elite athlete such as Phelps needs that amount of energy to train and compete at a high level.

“I would recommend that a regular competitive male swimmer would need around 6,000 calories a day, but because Michael is at Olympic level he will be training so hard that he will be burning it straight off,” Dawes said.

“His cholesterol intake is very high but by constantly swimming, there is no time for the cholesterol to stick to his arteries. But his cholesterol levels do need to be checked regularly to ensure he is not putting his body at risk for future cardiovascular disease.”

Phelps has been named World Swimmer of the Year six times and American Swimmer of the Year eight times.

After his swimming career is over, perhaps he should consider competing in the the competitive eating league, taking on the likes of Joey Chestnut and Takeru Kobayashi.

For now, we nominate Michael Phelps for World Eater of the Year...and we wonder what Ryan Lochte is eating in London these days.

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