OPEN CALL: What’s the most you’ve ever eaten?
Do you remember back in 2008 when Michael Phelps told Bob Costas he eats upwards of 12,000 calories in a day? Of course you do, because it was all over the news, and every morning show opened that day’s segment with a Pizza Hut Buffet style spread on their news desk. “Who can eat this much!” they cried.
From varying outlets we can gather that in a typical day, Michael Phelps consumed a combination of the following, eating in a day what most people should (maybe) in a week:
- Breakfast: Three fried-egg sandwiches with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions and mayonnaise. Two cups of coffee. One five-egg omelette. One bowl of oatmeal. Three slices of French toast topped. Three chocolate-chip pancakes.
- Lunch: One pound of pasta. Two large ham and cheese sandwiches with mayonnaise on white bread, plus energy drinks.
- Dinner: One pound of pasta, an entire pizza, and even more energy drinks.
His training during this time is difficult to source but most places report 80,000 meters (50 miles) a week minimum. I start swallowing water after about two laps, so this is mighty impressive. But is it really enough work (J) to warrant that much food? That’s tough to say, mostly because I know nothing about nutrition, and also because speculating about it is a moot point. His career did all the talking for him.
Digging up the Phelps story for food week made me curious about the amount of food other elite endurance athletes are consuming. For the sake of this article, I’m going to jump to some radical and not-at-all scientifically backed conclusions: Phelps swimming 50 miles a week is like Rupp running 120 miles a week. But could you really imagine Galen Rupp standing in line at a Domino’s, clutching his change pouch, then sitting in a booth and inhaling a large pizza in one sitting?
That’s not to say that runners don’t have larger appetites than most. We’ve heard some rumors about the types of meals that elite athletes have before record-breaking performances and they’re astonishing. I’ve seen a bunch of salad diaries that Scott Jurek keeps. I’ve cracked Shalane Flanagan’s cookbook–I’m sure she’d have plenty to say about Phelps’s 2008 diet. Or what about the videos of Ryan Hall eating protein powder pancakes?
All of that stuff is good and well, but what I’m looking for is some Bob Costas level revelations, or even a month’s long dance with a 10,000 calorie beast.
I took this question to the Citius Mag Slack channel and received a few ice cream related responses. Jeanne Mack said she once ate freezer burned ice cream for four straight days post-wisdom teeth surgery. Stephen Kersh regaled me with his failure to eat eight scoops of soft serve in a single sitting. Chris Chavez added that he once ate two Chipotle burritos after his first marathon. This clearly wasn’t what I was looking for, which is why I’m looking to our dear readers.
Do you have the story for me? Do you have a food diary or a group of reliable witnesses to prove that you once ate three big macs in one sitting? Please send me your stories at [email protected].
The winner so far is Carl Stones, who I once witnessed eat an entire can of black olives while watching Requiem for a Dream, then the next day ate two Cabo Bob’s Best Beef Burritos.