Guardian journo attempts to eat it: a miserable fail, obviously.
However, a couple of interesting comments:
Thompson appears less surprised. "I\’ve worked with extreme athletes, triathletes for example who work phenomenally hard, who expend between 6,000 and 10,000 calories a day," she says. "I can believe someone like Phelps is getting through 12,000. And the point is, it\’s plainly working for him, isn\’t it? Nobody could say he\’s not performing well. He\’s quite clearly expending what he\’s consuming, and – just like all of us – that\’s what counts."
Calories aside, Bean is concerned by the makeup of the swimmer\’s diet. "It does look quite salty, quite fatty, not very high in good fibre or in fruit and veg – he\’s certainly not getting his five a day," she warns. "I would certainly have expected him to be eating a bit less fat – and it\’s all saturated fat, the wrong kind. I suppose the point with an athlete like Phelps, though, is that he needs a very high calorie intake but a very low volume, whereas with the rest of us it\’s the precise reverse: we need a low calorie intake and high volume."
Thompson concurs. "Phelps\’s primary fuel source is going to be carbohydrates," she says, "and he\’s going to be burning them at a truly phenomenal rate. There\’s protein in there too, obviously, which he needs to maintain and repair muscle mass and tissue. But for someone like him, in a sport like his, it\’s really a question of how many carbohydrates he can get in, as quickly as possible. So this diet might look very high in fat, but if he had to eat this same number of calories in a diet that contained, for example, more fruit and vegetables, he\’d simply never manage it. His body just couldn\’t hold it. His intestines would give up. He\’s lucky as it is that he doesn\’t have a sensitive digestive system. That\’s one of the myriad factors that contribute to make him the exceptional performer he is."
Once again we find that the solution to the fat kiddies is to get them running around.