One of the stories that emerged during the recent Olympic Games was the extraordinary diet of Michael Phelps who won eight Olympic gold medals this year. The swimmer takes in an incredible 12,000 calories per day. Here is his intake for the day:
- Three fried egg sandwiches topped with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise
- Two cups of coffee
- Omelette made out of five eggs
- Bowl of grits
- Three slices of french toast sprinkled with sugar
- Three chocolate chip cookies
- Half a kilogram of enriched pasta
- Two large ham and cheese sandwiches of white bread with mayonnaise
- 1,000 calories of energy drink
- Half a kilogram of enriched pasta (again)
- A whole pizza
- 1,000 calories more of energy drink
All I can say is, with a breakfast that big I hope he doesn’t have to commute!
This extreme diet reminded me of another extreme diet I read about earlier this year. It is not uncommon to hear about drivers stacking up on the pasta — the carbohydrates do them good over long distances.
But pasta is a big no-no for Robert Kubica nowadays. The pole is among the tallest drivers in F1 at 184 cm. That can be a major disadvantage in a sport where teams are always looking to trim unnecessary weight so that they can put ballast in the best position for the performance of the car.
There is also the fact that the cockpit of an F1 can be quite a confined space. Alexander Wurz was unable to deputise when Juan Pablo Montoya had his “tennis injury” a couple of years back because the Austrian still couldn’t fit into the McLaren car! In 1995 Nigel Mansell also struggled to fit into his McLaren, though that was probably more because he had grown outwards!
Over the winter, Robert Kubica went on an extraordinary crash diet which allowed him to lose an incredible five kilos in just five weeks. That is amazing for someone who looked so gaunt in the first place. This weight loss is said to be a major factor in his competitiveness this season. Here is a typical day in Kubica’s regime according to an article by Peter Windsor in the June 2008 issue of F1 Racing.
- Breakfast: fruit
- Lunch: A 50p-sized piece of chicken with some carrots and a sprig of broccoli
- Dinner: “A forkful of protein”
(A 50 pence piece is 27.3 mm in diameter.)
“No carbs. No dairy. Nothing artificially sweet.”
The prospect of eating so little throughout the day would be bad enough for me, never mind being banned from carbohydrates! Like Michael Phelps, Robert Kubica has had to display tremendous self-discipline and commitment. It is just another reason why Robert Kubica is surely a future world champion.