Pumpkins? Usain Bolt Explains His Unusual Pre Workout Food Choice

Published 11/12/2021, 8:45 AM EST
LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 05: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates during a lap of honour following finishing in third place in the mens 100m final during day two of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 5, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)


Food diets are important for athletes to stay in good shape and fuel their intense workouts. Hence, every athlete has their own set of diets that curtains to their needs specifically. Just how swimming legend Katie Ledecky loves a glass of chocolate milk after her workouts, track legend Usain Bolt also favors a pre-workout snack that helps him to stay fit and healthy. Any guesses what it is?

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Usain Bolt loves pumpkins

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The legendary athlete won eight gold medals in the Olympic Games. The secret to his success? Pumpkins and Yams. In a recent interview, Bolt spoke about his love for pumpkins and yams as they fueled his energy for his workouts.

“I would have like yams and pumpkins and stuff like that. Those were the main things I tried to have before training,” said Bolt.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 09: Usain Bolt of Jamaica celebrates after winning gold in the Men’s 200m Final on Day 13 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 9, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Moreover, pumpkins and yams contain low-carbs which helps athletes to perform better before races or workouts. Pumpkins are low in carbohydrates but rich in sources of protein and fiber.

Bolt even mentioned how he cut down carbs altogether for dinner as he focused on veggies and proteins. That’s the secret to his lean structure.

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How good are pumpkins for an athlete?

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Pumpkins are rich in potassium and help in quick muscle contractions and heart functioning while maintaining quick nerve impulses. Apart from potassium, there are high amounts of magnesium and calcium as it helps the body to fill with electrolytes. It is a low-calorie meal with just 30 calories per cup serving.

Yams provide 177 calories from the same serving. Yams contain the exact nutrients of pumpkins but add an extra source of Vitamin B6 that helps in digestion and metabolic health.

LONDON, ENGLAND – AUGUST 12: Usain Bolt of Jamaica reacts after competing in the Men’s 4×100 Metres Relay heats during day nine of the 16th IAAF World Athletics Championships London 2017 at The London Stadium on August 12, 2017 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images for IAAF)

To sum up, Bolt’s favorite snack would be a lesson for all of us to know what to eat. Athletes have different ways to keep their bodies in perfect shape, and Bolt prefers to do this. What is your go-to healthy snack?

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Jacob Gijy

614 articles

Jacob Gijy is a US Sports and NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the center the respect he deserves.

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