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Usain Bolt’s Diet: What Does a Champion Eat?

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Usain Bolt is thought by most people to be the fastest sprinter ever. The first sprinter to win the famed “double-double,” Bolt won both the 100 and 200-meter dashes in back-to-back Olympic Games. 

When looking at Bolt’s accomplishments, there are many important pieces to such great success.

Have you ever wondered how a champion eats? Wonder no more.

If you think that diet is only important to distance runners, you could not be more wrong. 

What Is Usain Bolt’s Diet?

The first thing to point out is that this forefoot runner puts a lot of vegetables into his diet. This includes vegetables he does not particularly enjoy like broccoli. Then why eat it? Because it’s good for you. (Parents take note. This may be a great way to get your kids to eat their broccoli!)

Bolt also eats smaller meals and snacks over the course of the day and then eats a big meal later in the day. That defies the conventional wisdom that tells us to have our big meals earlier and not to eat a lot right before bed. What can we say? Who can argue with his results?

Are you wondering about the staple food items in the Usain Bolt diet plan?

  • Egg Sandwich – This is his breakfast of champion. Bolt eats an egg sandwich almost every day. 
  • Pasta – Bolt does enjoy pasta now and then. Good news to the carb lovers out there!
  • Corned Beef – This is a popular lunch item for Bolt.
  • Fish – We all know the healthy benefits that are derived from eating fish. 
  • Chicken – Chicken is a nice lean source of protein and a great dietary choice. 
  • Vegetables – As stated before, Bolt eats veggie-heavy. This includes veggies he doesn’t love. 
  • Yams – Not only are yams a superfood, but they are also a staple to a Jamaican diet. 
  • Jamaican Dumplings – These tasty dumplings are often stuffed with delicious things and are known to be one of Bolt’s favorites. 
  • Fruit – No shock that Bolt eats fruit. Apples, pineapples, and mangos top his list of frequent foods. 

Usain Bolt’s Diet Plan

Early in his running career, Bolt was not terribly regimented about his diet. However, as he delved deeper into training and working with both a coach and nutritionist, he recognized the importance of staying consistent. 

A typical day’s worth of meals for Bolt looks something like this:

For breakfast, Bolt has an egg sandwich almost daily. Hey, even Olympic champions have favorite foods!

Lunch might consist of pasta with corned beef (his favorite!) or another protein source. Dinner would be similar to lunch, but a significantly larger meal. Jamaican dumplings are one of Bolt’s favorite suppers, also paired with a protein source such as chicken or fish. 

As you have learned, he also has vegetables with his meals. His coach and cook have really pushed him to increase his veggie intake and Bolt is compliant to that. 

Snacks are often fruit such as apples and pineapples. 

How Many Calories Does Usain Bolt Consume?

There appears to be conflicting information on this. You will find articles saying he eats up to 5,000 calories each day.

However, it appears to be closer to 2,200 calories each day during a normal day of training. 

Does Bolt Eat Junk Food?

There are reports that Usain Bolt craves hot wings. Apparently, he also craves chicken nuggets. Usain Bolt struggles with eating unfamiliar food and when in Beijing for the Olympics after a meal made him feel sick, he decided to go with what he knows.

The result of that was that Bolt ate chicken nuggets for every meal while in Beijing. He estimates he ate roughly 1000 chicken nuggets during his time there. 

Do Sprinters Need a Different Diet than Distance Runners?

According to the National Academy of Sports Medicine, sprinters certainly do need to have a different type of diet than distance runners. This is why if you compare the diets of a world-class sprinter like Usain Bolt to another world-class runner who happens to run long distances, they look very different. 

A sprinter has more developed muscles and a larger build. These athletes would typically take in more protein in order to build and maintain the bulk necessary for fast efforts. This is not to imply that protein is not as important for distance runners as it certainly is. They can just get by on less. 

Distance runners, on the other hand, do not want that bulk. They tend to eat less protein and lean more heavily on carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables. 

Having said that, both types of athletes need to focus on overall nutrition to ensure that basic body needs are always being met. 

A distance runner also needs more calories for longer runs, and will have to take in fuel during these long efforts.

Sprinters can get through a workout with little fueling support other than hydration.

Fueling Your Workouts

If you have been following our publishings, you may have read the article on Eliud Kipchoge and how he fuels his body for success. Since you don’t run the 100+ mile weeks of Kipchoge, yet are not a world-class sprinter like Bolt, are you wondering how you should fuel your body?

The long and short of it is that no two bodies fuel exactly alike. If you focus on eating mostly whole foods in their most natural form, use processed foods to add some variety and fun into your diet, and ensure you are getting all of your nutrients in, you are heading in the right direction. 

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