Wednesday, May 12, 2010

8,000 Calories a Day

Legendary ultrarunner Scott Jurek (whom you may remember from Christopher McDougall's "Born to Run") somehow manages to eat up to 8,000 calories a day on a vegan diet.

“The first thing to worry about isn’t so much what you eat, but how much you eat. You have to take the time to sit at the table and make sure your calorie count is high enough. And when you’re a vegan, to increase your calories as you increase training you need more food. This isn’t an elimination diet but an inclusion diet.”

He focuses on three main meals. Breakfast is key: it might be a 1,000-calorie smoothie, with oil, almonds, bananas, blueberries, salt, vanilla, dried coconut, a few dates and maybe brown rice protein powder. Unless he is doing a long run, which for him is seven hours, or about 50 miles, he eats after his first workout. Lunch and dinner are huge salads, whole grains, potatoes and sweet potatoes, and usually beans of some sort or a tempeh-tofu combination.

“None of this is weird,” he said. “If you go back 300 or 400 years, meat was reserved for special occasions, and those people were working hard. Remember, almost every long-distance runner turns into a vegan while they’re racing, anyway — you can’t digest fat or protein very well.”
In case you're keeping score, Jurek ingests fewer calories than Michael Phelps, but more than Rex Ryan.

And "none of this is weird"?