2008 Summer Olympics - Michael Phelps Gold Standard of Eat, Swim and Sleep

by Pool Builders on 08-17-2008 in Articles

How is it possible for one young man to win so many Olympic gold medals? Is he genetically engineered better? Is he more intelligent? Is he a god-send for America? Well, I will not speculate on any of those things, but one reoccurring theme is how much food he eats, how often he swims and why sleep is so important for this swim superstar.


I don't know about you but I had cereal, toast and juice this morning. I have my fingers crossed that I am not going to gain weight from eating just that. Then you have boy wonder that eats 12,000 calories a day. What the heck!

I feel for his mother. I complained about my grocery bill when my daughters were growing up. What does a grocery bill look like to feed this young man? Never mind don't tell me my heart can't take it. Anyway, check out what Michael eats in a typical day.

Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise, two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelet, one bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.

Lunch: One pound of pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread, plus 1,000 calories of energy drinks.

Dinner: One pound of pasta an entire pizza and even more energy drinks


Michael trains every day including Sundays, figuring it gives him 52 more days a year in the pool than many of his competitors - did I say this kid was motivated. In peak training, he will swim nearly 50 miles a week. That adds up to two practices a day, sometimes three when he's training at altitude. On top of all of that he began lifting weights in 2005, which has given him a more powerful push off the wall.


During the February 2008 Missouri Grand Prix Phelps' drowsiness took center stage. He fell asleep on a diving board platform. His coach stated he was suffering insomnia. Yes, our boy wonder was exhausted due to a lack of sleep. So, to combat a repeat of this during the Olympics he faced his problem head on. He had to tell his friends to stop texting him during the middle of the night, so that he could sleep. He had to let the anxieties take care of themselves. He refused to dwell on races down the road only the one in front of him. By letting each day take care of itself he was able to sleep like a charm.

Michael's coach says that single minded focus and the ability to shut out the expectations not yet beheld and the Olympic atmosphere is what allowed him to climb out of the pool each time with an eye only on what was next.

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