T Nation

Bruce Lee and Diet

There is a LOT of discussion on this board about “The Dragon” his training, strength, etc.


Curious…how, and what did he eat? IN GENERAL…what is the diet like of a Top Level martial artist? More like a runner or a bodybuilder? Neither? A combination?

Lee paid very little attention to his nutrition, compared to his training, etc. He left most of the nutrition to his wife. She tried to use whole grains, stay away from processed foods and simple sugars. He drank a few protein shakes a day, 3-5 meals/day. he liked chinese foods, spaghetti/pasta, vegetables, and yes, even tofu. As for other martial artists, I do not know.

Mufasa - ooooh, scary question. First of all, what DK said is true (but I have provide more specific info below). And y’know the basic Chinese diet is very good. As well as a basic Japanese diet. Which is what Ko and I eat alot, anyways. But as to what a modern day top level martial artist? It’s according to individual. In my dojo, when I began, I would hang out with the Black Belts after training and we would go to a nearby sushi “joint” for sushi and sake. LOTS of sake.

After training/sparring (kickboxing)with Ko and a acquaintance we would go to get something to eat. Most likely anywhere that would provide us with ALOT of food and beer and/or shots of tequila. I kid you not. But it didn't happen ALL of the time. Most martial artists don't know a whole lot about nutrition. Most are probably "vegetarian".

Ko believes in the "samurai" approach to eating and drinking: "eat, drink and be merry -because tomorrow you may die."

Oh, Ko just found this in one of our books on Bruce Lee: Never fond of dairy products....uilitzed primarily for creating his protein drinks....seldom drank milk...and intensely dislike cheese. (side note: his diet was a healthy blend of western and asian foods - mostly asian -Chinese). Lee believed in supplementation. Hardly a day would pass when he wouldn't consume at least one or two high-protein drinks. Contents varied, but could have consisted of several of these ingredients:noninstant powdered milk, water or juice, ice cubes, 2 eggs - sometimes in their shells, 1-tbls of wheat germ or oil, 1-tbls of peanut butter, a banana, 1-tbls of brewer's yeast, Inositol, Lecithin.

I hope this somewhat answers your question!

I’d say he did not eat at all… unless he had a severe thyroid hormone overproduction :wink: