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Fitness & Health

30th Oct 2019

What an Olympic athlete eats in a day to swim the height of Everest

Olympic swimmer Max Litchfield swims the equivalent height of Mount Everest each day. This is the ridiculous amount of food he puts away to fuel such a feat

Alex Roberts

You’ll be surprised how much food an Olympic swimmer puts away each day

Granted, these guys aren’t competing in World’s Strongest Man or the Tour De France – sports typically associated with wolfing down a ridiculous amount of food.

But the diet of an Olympic swimmer is not for the faint-hearted. Or those with a small appetite.

Just look at what Team GB swimmer Max Litchfield eats. Litchfield will go for gold alongside teammate Adam Peaty at Tokyo 2020, and this video looks at everything on his plate during a typical training day.

An inside look at the Olympic swimming diet

  • A bowl of fruit granola with skimmed milk
  • Cocoa orange Nakd bar
  • Four scrambled eggs, three slices wholegrain bread, one chopped avocado
  • Bowl of protein porridge with peanut butter and blueberries, raisins and honey
  • Strawberry protein shake
  • Three chicken fajitas with salad, on wholegrain tortillas
  • One bowl of Greek yoghurt with oatmeal, blueberries and honey

Litchfield is extremely strict with his diet and training in the run-up to a competition such as the Olympics.

He said: “I would measure skinfolds and weight quite meticulously to ensure I am stabilising at my race weight and composition and if any changes were needed I would implement these appropriately.”

Composition stands for body composition, which just refers to your ratio of muscle mass in relation to body fat.

Litchfield trains for 20+ hours a week at the Loughborough National Centre. After placing fourth in Rio 2016, he is hoping for a podium position in 2020.

Speaking to MiraFit, Litchfield said international swimming competitions such as the Olympics can often make dieting harder – as you’re in an unfamiliar environment.

Dieting ahead of the Olympics

He said: “If I am away and in a village environment, I would make sure to search around in the days before I race to find the best alternative.

“For instance, recently in South Korea, I ended up having two small bowls of cereal; one oats and one bran flakes along with a medium banana. Sometimes you have got to make do with what you are provided.”

For lunch, Litchfield says he typically chooses a high protein meal with a whole load of carbs. Carbs aren’t the devil, and are essential if you compete in sport.

He said: “Something like seafood (usually prawns) risotto with asparagus and mushrooms. Again, this is something that is really easy and simple to make so takes the stress off you if you have more races to come later in the week.”

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