Jonny Brownlee: what does he eat?

Jonny Brownlee shares what he eats when training and racing, as part of a study compiled by William Hill

Jonny Brownlee

On a typical training day, what do you eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks?


For breakfast, I’ll have porridge with red berries, banana, and honey, or Greek yogurt. I’ll then snack on a hot cross bun or have some toast. For lunch, I’ll have a ham and pepper omelette with a side salad, followed by Greek yogurt and muesli for pudding. In the afternoon, I’ll snack on Greek yogurt or toast. Alternatively, I’ll have a nutritional bar before a hard session, or a protein bar after a hard session. For dinner, I usually have fajitas and salad, or meatballs and pasta. If it’s been a long training day, then I’ll have apple crumble and custard to finish.

What are your perfect pre, during and post-race fuels and hydration?

The night before a race, I’ll have chicken and rice as it’s simple on the stomach. For breakfast I’ll have porridge and toast, and a nutritional bar two hours before. I’ll then sip on an energy drink until the race starts but have no more than 750ml.

During the race, I’ll have one 750ml bottle of an energy drink, plus one bottle of water, and gels.

Post-race, I’ll hopefully get to have a sip of champagne on the podium, but I’ll definitely have a recovery shake, and normally a burger and chips as a treat!

What does your typical training day look like, from waking up to going to bed?

Every day is different. I train 30-35 hours a week – 10 hours of running, 15-20 hours of riding, and about seven hours of swimming – plus two gym sessions a week.

Wednesday is my longest day. I wake up at 6.45am, and swim 6km between 7.30-9.30am, before eating my bircher muesli. I then run approximately 14km at 10am, and then have a decent lunch. After that, it’s a 1pm ride for four hours with a café stop, where I manage approximately 100km. Then it’s a stretch in the late afternoon.

Monday and Friday are easier days, whereas Tuesday is the most intense day, with a hard swim in the morning, and a hard run in the evening. On Thursdays I have a hard swim in the morning, followed by a hard bike day, and Saturdays consist of a hard run session day, and a long ride.

Jonny Brownlee’s 5 top tips on how to maintain a healthy diet plan:

1.    Stick to the plan: It needs to be a long-term plan if you want to continue with eating healthily, as it will then become a habit. There may be days where you don’t eat so well – and if so, don’t beat yourself up and try to overcompensate the next day. Just go back to your plan and eat consistently well.

2.   Incorporate goals into your plan: For example, eat a minimum of five fruit and veg a day, or limit yourself to eating chocolate once a week.

3.    Reward yourself: That doesn’t necessarily mean with food! Everyone has different ways of rewarding themselves. It could be a simple pat on the back, but you need to acknowledge the fact that you are sticking to the plan, and that’s a good thing!

4.   It’s always easier if someone is eating the same way as you: Whether it’s a friend or a housemate, it means you can share the good recipes – and the not-so-good ones – which makes it easier to stick to the plan.

5.   Eat something as soon as you can after exercising: You should eat something ideally within 20 minutes after finishing your workout, as it will stop you from coming home starving and emptying the fridge!

William Hill has carried out some research into the diet of top triathletes and cyclists including Scott Thwaites from UCI ProTeam .  The report includes interviews with Louise Sutton, Head of Sport and Exercise Nutrition at the Carnegie School of Sports, Leeds Beckett University.

James Moran, Performance Nutritionist at cycling Team Ineos provides a range of recipes for aspiring athletes

You can read the full interview with Jonny Brownlee here

Image courtesy of OTE