Yohan Blake – Was Faster Than Usain Bolt in 2012 – His Bio and Diet
Yohan Blake is a 22 year-old Jamaican sprinter. He has beaten Usain Bolt twice in a week, first over 100m and then in the 200m at the Jamaican Olympic trials at the National Stadium in Kingston.
In the 100m Yohan Blake won in 9.75 seconds, with Bolt finishing in 9.86s and Asafa Powell very close behind at 9.88s.
Yohan Blake’s 9.75 seconds was the fastest 100m run in 2012 and he is now the 4th fastest man of all time. Powell is recovering from a strained groin muscle at the moment but should be fully fit for the Olympic Games.
Yohan Blake Bio
Yohan Blake was born on 26th December, 1989, and is 3 years younger than Usain Bolt. He is 1.80m (5 ft 11 in) tall and weighs around 78 kg (172 pounds). Like Bolt, he specializes in the 100m and 200m sprints. Blake is the youngest athlete to break the 10 second barrier over 100m.
In 2009 Blake was withdrawn from the 2009 World Championships relay race after testing positive for the stimulant 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine, which although is not a banned substance, it is similar to tuaminoheptane, which is banned.
In 2011 Blake won gold at the World Championships in 9.92 seconds and became the youngest world champion since Carl Lewis. He was only 21 years-old at the time. Later in 2011 in Zurich, Blake beat Asafa Powell in the 100m, winning in a new personal best of 9.82 seconds. His latest win was in 9.75 seconds in Jamaica (June 2012). He is just getting faster and faster!
Blake is coached by Glen Mills, who is a Jamaican sprint coach. Mills has also trained Kim Collins, who won gold over 100m in the 2003 Paris World Championships, Dwain Chambers, who won gold over 60m in the 2010 Doha World Indoor Championships and Ray Stewart who was an excellent athlete during his teens in the 1980s and won silver in the 4 x 100m relay at the Los Angeles 1984 Olympic Games.
Yohan Blake’s Diet
Yohan Blake’s diet does not differ massively from other sprinters. He eats high quality carbohydrates for energy and nutrients and a lot of protein to build, repair and maintain his muscles. However, he does have one little secret weapon – bananas. Blake told ShortList.com that he eats “more than 6,000 calories a day”, but on track days he burns all of that off, which is why he eats so many bananas.
Blake says that his main fuel is ripe bananas. Bananas are an excellent fuel for athletes as they are easy to digest (and the sugars are converted to glycogen and stored in muscles quicker) which means that they are a great food for athletics.
He can eat up to 16 bananas a day. However, he did explain to the Daily Mirror that he tends to lose potassium quickly, so bananas for him are vital to ensure his potassium levels remain high. Potassium is vital in the body to help control fluid balance, create proteins, maintain a healthy nervous system, produce energy (metabolism) and enable muscle contraction. If you want a more interesting way to eat bananas try our banana smoothie recipes.
Potassium is also used in the conversion of glucose (sugars from diet) into glycogen (sugars stored as energy in the muscles). Finally, it helps the lungs to eliminate carbon dioxide which ultimately means more oxygen can be taken in, and oxygen is vital for all forms of aerobic exercise. If you do not have enough potassium you will find it hard to exercise to a high intensity.
Each banana contains around 100 Calories which means that if you are counting calories to ensure that you do not gain fat (many athletes keep fat levels to a minimum) then it is an easy way to keep track of how much you are eating.
Of course, if you eat 16 bananas a day on top of your regular meals you will be taking in an additional 1600 Calories, so unless you are training like Yohan Blake you will gain weight fast!
Of course, bananas are not the only source of potassium, they just happen to be the most easily digested. Cooked lima beans contain more potassium per gram, but cooking and digestion makes them unsuitable for busy athletes. Other good sources are avocados, potatoes, tomatoes, oranges and peas.
It seems that Jamaica will be dominating the men’s athletics in the London 2012 Games. Can Bolt fight back? Will Asafa Powell start to shine again? We must also not dismiss the American’s, Tyson Gay is looking strong again.
Photo credit: Yohan Blake during 2011 World championships Athletics in Daegu by Erik van Leeuwen.