Yohan Blake’s Banana Diet

Yohan Blake
Yohan Blake at the 2011 World Championships in Daegu

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In 2009 Blake was withdrawn from the 2009 World Championships relay race after testing positive for the stimulant 4-Methyl-2-hexanamine, which although is not a banned substance, it is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.

9 Comments on “Yohan Blake’s Banana Diet”

  1. nope

  2. Nice article, great content. I’m just curious, since when does banana make you gain weight ?

  3. MotleyHealth says:

    Too much of anything will make you gain weight.

  4. Julie Groenewald says:

    I eat around 20 bananas a day – and have lost over 24 kg eating fruit.

    Fruit does not make you fat, as it virtually contains no fat.

    Latest study material from Loma Linda university states clearly that fruit and especially bananas are the best food for weight loss. It cannot make you fat.

    What can make fat is the way you eat other foods and then include bananas. If you eat meat for example, it is harder on digestion than bananas. This can slow digestion and disturb the natural processes in your body. This can put strain on your organs etc which can in return all have a ripple effect to let you gain weight.

    FRUIT for the WIN.

    CARBS = (and I mean simple fruit carbs ) = FOOD OF CHAMPIONS as you can clearly see ;-)

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Julie, do you have a link for the Loma Linda university research, I am keen to read the report.

  6. “you will gain weight on bananas !….” HAHA ;)
    people are fat because they eat too much fruits??? epic fail

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    carbtheveganup, what do you think causes weight gain? A banana contains up to 150 Calories. If somebody ate 20 bananas a day (and nothing else) that would be 3000 Calories. All that sugar has to go somewhere. Still “epic fail”?

    If it was only gluten and veganism is the answer, then why does this happen?

    A fat squirrel

  8. I eat 2000 calories of mainly fruits, without training. When training I eat about 2500 or more. I’m 5’5″ and 114 lbs. Honestly I don’t understand the “1600 calories will make you gain weight.” Even on a normal diet people would only gain weight from 1600 cals if they’re ~extremely~ sedentary or something. And 1600 cals of fruit making someone gain weight is pretty ridiculous. It happens here and there with ED pasts or B12 deficiencies or the like, I’m sure, but it’s so rare and definitely not something that happens to everyone who ‘doesn’t train like yohan blake’.

  9. MotleyHealth says:

    I think what was meant was eating 1600 Calories of bananas every day on top of “normal” eating is going to add to total calories.

    Yohan Blake said that he was eating 16 bananas a day for extra energy. His total Calorie intake is around 6000 a day, before the bananas.

    With his training regime, he must have meant that he was eating 16 bananas for additional energy on top of his meals. 1600 Calories a day is not enough to keep him or anybody going. Article edited to make it clearer.

    So, what is meant is, do not eat 16 bananas a day on top of your regular meals and hope to be super fit.

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