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It’s always fascinating to find out what famous athletes eat, to marvel at the absurd amount of calories Michael Phelps consumes or make fun of Tom Brady’s bland vegan kibble. Kohei Uchimura, the greatest male gymnast of all-time, might have the weirdest athlete diet yet.

In an interview on Japanese television, the two-time Olympic all-around champion and six-time world all around winner—he’s going for his seventh straight title next week in Montreal—was asked to share a secret. His admission: He eats only one meal a day, which comes after his two workouts. Uchimura claims he only fuels himself with coffee until his evening meal.

This basically sounds like my diet in college. Though sometimes I swapped out “meal” for “mixed drinks.”

Uchimura’s rationale for his eating schedule is that he doesn’t like to have anything in his stomach has flips and swings around:

“In gymnastics, you spin around a lot, right? So I get sick...Even to move around a little but I like to be empty...When I’m empty, I feel like it’s easy to move and I’m in a good state.”


Uchimura also claims not to snack throughout the day before his big evening meal.

Female gymnasts have earned a reputation for not being, let’s say, the most voracious of eaters. Basically every TV movie, book, and episode of Law & Order: SVU that focuses on the sport, emphasizes this. Uchimura is proof that this can be true of male gymnasts, too.

Still, I prefer Uchimura’s regimen to Brady’s. At least that one evening meal can include nightshades.


[Gymnastics Coaching]