What US Olympic Swimmer Caeleb Dressel Really Eats

Caeleb Dressel swimming
Caeleb Dressel swimming - Al Bello/Getty Images

Caeleb Dressel is a phenomenal swimmer. He is gearing up for his third Olympic games, his first two being in Rio in 2016 and Tokyo in 2021. Between Rio and Tokyo, Dressel has seven gold medals, and he even broke Michael Phelps' record in the 100-meter butterfly. All of this success is due, of course, to immense amounts of training and a lot of natural talent. He spends hours each day in the pool, as well as dedicating a significant amount of time to working out in the gym. Of the gym, Dressel told Men's Health, "Strength training is an important part of every athlete's training program, but for me it's become almost like a sanctuary."

Of course, all of Dressel's training is important; also crucial, however, is his diet. Food is a critical part of any athlete's training routine, because it is their diet that dictates how much energy and strength their body has. Dressel makes an effort to eat a balanced diet, but what exactly does he eat? Here is everything we know about Dressel's eating habits.

Read more: What The Cameras Don't Show You On MasterChef

He Carbo-Loads At Breakfast

oatmeal
oatmeal - Kasia2003/Getty Images

When it comes to the most important meal of the day, Caeleb Dressel takes his carbs very seriously. That said, he likes to keep his meals pretty light, because he always has a two hour training session first thing in the morning. It's important that he fuels up to have the energy to swim, but it is also important that he doesn't eat too much.

When he wakes up at around 7 in the morning, Dressel will make himself something light but high in carbs. This might be oatmeal, toast, or a bagel. He told USA Today, "I never eat a lot before I get in the water because I don't want to ... Anything with carbs is what I go for if it's not a full meal." Carbohydrates, as the body's main source of fuel, are a great way for Dressel to start his day. He treats breakfast more as a snack than a full meal because he will eat more substantial food after his first training session.

He Snacks On Protein Bars And Chocolate Milk

chocolate milk
chocolate milk - Bhofack2/Getty Images

In between training and lunch, Caeleb Dressel needs a snack. His first round of training ends at around 10 am, which is when he reaches for something easy to eat. Usually, he will have what is available for him at the training center, which consists of a protein bar and chocolate milk. Dressel isn't the only Olympic swimmer who loves to snack on granola bars and chocolate milk; swimmer Katie Ledecky is also a huge fan of these snacks.

While this snack may sound simple and maybe even unhealthy, it provides a number of health benefits, especially for an incredibly active athlete like Dressel. Chocolate milk, which has a fascinating but controversial history, has a good amount of sugar, but it is also full of healthy fats and protein. Plus, the simple carbs from the sugar will help keep Dressel going. Similarly, the bars that he eats provide simple carbs and protein that can sustain a hard workout.

Lunch Is An Early Affair

chicken breast lunch
chicken breast lunch - Kamil Zajaczkowski/Shutterstock

After a round of swimming and some time in the weight room, it is time for Caeleb Dressel to eat lunch -- or, as he calls it, breakfast-lunch (but definitely not brunch). Because he eats his second meal pretty early in the day, the swimmer finds that his lunch can almost be breakfast-like sometimes. Dressel told USA Today, "I still get three meals in, it's just that my breakfast is late ... I'll be done with weights, and it will be a late breakfast or an early lunch."

Although he doesn't get specific about what he eats, and probably changes things up from day to day, Dressel always makes sure to get protein, carbs, and a good amount of vegetables during lunch/second breakfast. His favorite proteins are seafood and chicken, while for fruit he likes to munch on apples and oranges. As his first official meal of the day, lunch is an opportunity for Dressel to load up on all of the nutrients that he needs to succeed as an Olympic swimmer. After lunch, he usually finds time to rest, and maybe even take a nap, before he continues with his training.

His Favorite Dinner Is Meatloaf

home made meatloaf
home made meatloaf - Bhofack2/Getty Images

At the end of a long day of swimming, it is time for Caeleb Dressel to eat dinner. Hungry after all that training, Dressel never thinks about how much he is eating; instead, he just eats until he is full. He told USA Today that this habit is, "kind of great, but if I wasn't swimming, I think that'd be a problem." He guessed that he might even be in the same daily calorie range as Michael Phelps, who can eat 8,000-10,000 calories a day during peak training times.

As for what he actually eats, Dressel has one meal that he loves above all others; meatloaf. Meatloaf is a staple American food with a fascinating history, having helped America through difficult eras such as the Great Depression. Additionally, this dish is a great source of protein. Of course, Dressel doesn't eat meatloaf every day, but assuming that he pairs the dish with carbohydrates and vegetables, his dinner is well-balanced.

He Carefully Times His Meals To Optimize Workouts

caeleb dressel in the pool
caeleb dressel in the pool - Sarah Stier/Getty Images

As an Olympic athlete, it is not only important what Caeleb Dressel eats; it is also important when he eats. Instead of eating three huge meals, Dressel carefully times when he eats to optimize his energy and strength throughout the day. Speaking to USA Today, the Olympian said, "I'm kind of like a horse: I just kind of eat throughout the day, so I'm not ever hungry. I don't want to go to practice hungry."

Just as it is important for him to time his meals, it is also important that Dressel has time to relax and turn his mind off. This is why he will usually take a nap in the afternoon in between training sessions. Additionally, at night, the swimmer will take 30 minutes to an hour to relax, hanging out with his friends and wife, or just playing some video games. All of these strategies help Dressel to be the best swimmer he can be.

Chicken Wings And Reese's Are Two Of Caeleb Dressel's Favorite Indulgences

Caeleb Dressel eating wings
Caeleb Dressel eating wings - caelebdressel / Instagram

Like any person in the world, it is challenging for Caeleb Dressel to follow a strict diet. While he usually tries to keep things well balanced, there are times when he likes to indulge in food just for the pleasure of it. One of his absolute favorite indulgences is Reese's peanut butter cups. Before the Olympic games in Tokyo, Dressel teamed up with Reese's to promote their new product, Reese's Ultimate Peanut Butter Lovers Cups. Dressel even took to social media to post about his love for the product. Other Olympians, including Michael Phelps and Katie Ledecky, also took part in the same ad campaign.

Another indulgent favorite of the swimmer is chicken wings. Dressel posted a picture of himself and his wife to Instagram in 2021, showing off a face covered in wing sauce and an empty plate of wings in front of him. The amusing photo shows clearly what a big fan of the meal Dressel is, though it is unclear what his favorite type of wings might be. Still, he would probably like these unique ways to make wings.

After Working Hard At The Olympics, He Likes To Indulge

pizza slice
pizza slice - Wirestock/Getty Images

Perhaps the best time to indulge in a delicious meal is after you've won big at the Olympics. This is clearly something that Caeleb Dressel understands, because after he was done swimming at the Tokyo Olympics, the swimmer ate his heart out. Dressel explained that after his events finished, he and two of his teammates went to the dining area and stocked up on delicious treats. "I had like five or six pieces of pizza, two burgers, I made a Coke float," he told Good Morning America.

After this meal, Dressel and his friends threw around a football for a solid two hours, allowing themselves to unwind after the challenging competition. Addressing the atmosphere at the Olympics, Dressel said, "It's human beings at the end of the day. We might be pretty fast in the water but we like playing poker and video games and we eat pizza and burgers."

Read the original article on Mashed.