The average calorie count of an Olympian: Read it to believe it

Here is the kind of food that keeps your favourite Olympians going.

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They are fast, they are strong, they are unstoppable. Yes, we are talking about Olympian athletes.What gives them all this energy, except passion for their sport? Well the the answer to that is...Food!  We dig into what these athletes consume. Food that leads to greatness, now THAT is something I can live by!


An average Olympic athlete consumes about 1,200 to 10,000 calories in a day. You heard that right. As opposed to a calorie intake of about 2600 for an ordinary individual. Twenty one time gold medallist Michael Phelps reportedly consumes as much as 12000 calories in a day! Ryan Lochte also made headlines recently with his diet of 8000 calories daily.

Although there are athletes who live by the "eat what you want" rule, most of them have acquired a "meticulous" diet plan these days. They eat healthy and they eat clean. Also, the Olympians are only served food from the Olympic village, and not from anywhere else. The athletes cannot go cruising looking to visit any restaurants of Brazil, from the fear of food poisoning that will hinder their health during the games. Different types of athletes consume different types of food depending on what will help their body perform better for their particular sport.

Also read: Rio2016: They’re fabulous at sport and have physiques to die for. Meet 4 Olympians who make you want to work out

An average Olympic athlete consumes about 1,200 to 10,000 calories in a day.

Who eats what?

Swimmers, rowers, cyclists and the likes who compete in the endurance sports are most likely to consume the most calories because they need that much energy. 3000-8000 calories a day! Phelps includes pretty much everything in this diet. Pizzas to pastas to greasy sandwiches! Three fried egg sandwiches with cheese, chocolate chip pancakes, three slices of french toast and a five egg omelette is a regular for this swimmer.


Gymnasts, divers, synchronised swimmers tend to eat lighter. Grilled chicken with some vegetables will be the average mid day meal for many. The intake definitely differs between men and women, usually men consume more calories than their female counterparts. Average intake of female would be 2000-2500 calories.

Swimmer Katie Ledecky celebrates her gold medal at Rio 2016 Swimmer Katie Ledecky: Gold medallist at Rio 2016 (Picture Credit:

For sports that need strength like weightlifting, the average intake would be 2800-5000 calories a day. Their meal would include a a bowl full of lean meat, veggies, and rice for the carb.

Taekwondo, light weight rowing and fencing athletes do not need to consume massive amounts of food. Their intake is usually somewhere between 1200-1500 calories a day. Freshly squeezed juice with turmeric or ginger is something they live on!

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Many nutritionists who have worked with athletes have noticed that they have become more conscious about what they eat only in recent years. With growing competition, athletes have realised they cannot simply push their diet to second priority. Long distance gold medallist, Mo Farah told one of the reporters that he had not had a burger in a year! So you can imagine the kind of strict guidelines these athletes have to follow. Not everyone can pull off a Michael Phelps after all!


Feature Image Credit: Real Cool Videos

(Calorie intake information taken from

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