The secret behind swimming sensation Michael Phelps' phenomenal success at the Beijing Olympics is linked to a diet of at least 12,000 calories per day.
This is a huge calorie intake because the average man of the same age needs to ingest about 2,000 calories a day.
The U.S. swimmer attributed his title of the greatest Olympian of all time to his appetite when the media asked him what he needed to win medals.
"Eat, sleep and swim. That's all I can do. Get some calories into my system and try to recover the best I can," the New York Post quoted him as having told NBC.
The newspaper has revealed that Phelps eats a breakfast of three fried-egg sandwiches loaded with cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, fried onions, and mayonnaise.
He follows that up with two cups of coffee, a five-egg omelette, a bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes.
The report further states that Phelps' lunch comprises a pound of enriched pasta and two large ham and cheese sandwiches slathered with mayo on white bread, capping off the meal by chugging about 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.
Phelps' dinner includes carbohydrate-rich foods-such as a pound of pasta and an entire pizza-which give him plenty of energy for his five-hours-a-day, six-days-a-week regimen.
He washes all that down with another 1,000 calories worth of energy drinks.
Phelps remains on course to at least equal Mark Spitz's record of seven gold medals won at the 1972 Munich Games.