Team GB swim champion Adam Peaty delighted the nation as he seized the country’s first gold medal of the Tokyo Olympics, retaining his title in the 100m breast stroke race.
The swimmer has attributed much of his success to the intensive pre-competition diet and training regime he has adhered to on his path to becoming the fastest breaststroker in history.
At the peak of his training, Peaty has described having to consume 7,500 to 8,000 calories per day – which amounts to more than three times the recommended amount for an average male.
He eats several times a day to feed his world-beating metabolism, including two breakfasts — one after a dawn training session, a second at 9.30am — and a pre-sleep meal of wholemeal toast and a protein shake.
“In the morning I’ll have Weetabix, the normal high fibre, low glycemic food. Then towards the middle of the day I’ll have around 400g of chicken with a lot of vegetables and depending on what serving it is, maybe brown rice,” the swimmer told Men’s Health magazine in 2019.
“Towards the end of the day I’ll have a higher carb [meal] if I’ve had a harder session, or lower carb if not – sweet potato and Quorn mince or lean chicken or a lean fish like sea bass,” he added.
“I’m then just active fuelling; I normally eat around every two hours anyway just to keep my metabolism going.”
As he explained, he then carefully halves this daily calorie intake as the race approaches – although lamented that in the past he had cut his calorie levels too quickly, causing his testosterone levels to drop.
While his diet might have some readers feeling envious, Peaty has previously warned that his gruelling training routine leaves him “practically in a coffin” by the end of a week’s practice.
In his most punishing sessions, he reportedly performs repeated 50-metre sprints, allowing himself such short recovery periods that he is at his maximum heart-rate for every length. According to MailOnline, he does ten two-hour sessions a week, with Saturday as his only rest day.
Outside of the pool, he reportedly goes to the gym five days a week, where he does sets of 20 “flying” press-ups, three or four times a day, in addition to pull-ups using elastic straps hanging from a metal bar, and sit-ups and squats with a Swiss ball held above his head.
On Monday, after retaining the title of 100m champion which he first won in Rio de Janiero in 2016, Peaty told reporters: “Thanks to the nation for being behind me for five years and my family and my beautiful boy.
“I knew it was going to take every bit of energy and I’m just so f****** relieved. Apologies for the swearing.”