Muscles don’t just grow on their own. You not only need the right training but also the appropriate fuel. For athletes that means shed loads of protein on the table. Carbohydrates provide energy for endurance sessions and plenty of water or sports drinks replace the fluid and nutrients lost through sweating. At least that’s the theory. The reality sometimes looks very different. It seems McDonald’s is the second-most visited place after the gym, as these sports stars show.
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson
The man mountain. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson might be known as one of Hollywood’s biggest – and we mean big - action actors but the California native lives for the gym as much as for film and television. The 44-year-old hones his impressive form with strenuous workouts at four o’clock in the morning. For some roles he puts in even more effort. Every day he destroys food by the kilo. On one cheat day in 2014, “The Rock” posted a photo of 12 pancakes, 4 pizzas and 21 brownies – there were no survivors.
Baseball legend Babe Ruth indulged in three hot dogs before each game and they seemed to bring him luck. ‘The Bambino’ is considered by many as the greatest player of all time for a career spanning 22 years, and he once hit 60 home runs in one season (1927). The hot dogs weren’t his only pre-match ritual. Babe Ruth usually started his mornings with a glass of bourbon.
It wasn’t whiskey but another yellowish liquid for UFC Fighter Lyoto Machida. The MMA warrior told the Brazilian magazine Tatame of a very special morning routine: “I drink my urine every morning as a natural remedy”. Apparently his father had advised him. The combat star went into even further detail in the conversation and described the varying tastes of the drink, but we’ll spare you the extra information.
With his running style and prolific touchdown stats, retired NFL star Marshawn Lynch earned the nickname ‘Beast Mode,’ but the Super Bowl winner in 2013 with the Seattle Seahawks had some unusual game habits. He would regularly eat Skittles during matches, dating back to his high school days, and even won an endorsement for his sweet tooth antics.
He’s the fastest man on the planet and chasing gold once more at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro so how does Usain Bolt maintain his incredible physique? Chicken nuggets. On his way to three gold medals at the Beijing Games, Jamaica’s ‘Lightning Bolt’ said he ate around 1000 of the McDonald’s snack. And his drink of choice when he’s not busy leaving opponents in his dust? Bolt once revealed: “I drink Guinness…I’m a secret Irishman.”
So what does the body need to move through water? At the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, US swimmer Michael Phelps won 8 gold medals and set seven world records. What helped? Eating, and lots of it. Phelps detailed to the New York Post everything in his diet while training for the Olympics. Breakfast was egg sandwiches with mayonnaise and fried onions, omelette, corn porridge, French toast and pancakes. For lunch and dinner he went with pasta, pizza and energy drinks - until he had about 12,000 kilocalories per day. Rather than sink, he sped to sporting glory.