"They were literally 1,100 calories each" - Ryan O'Donoghue on lengths he took to bulk up for inter-county football
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"I was eating 4,000 calories a day."
Ryan O'Donoghue is in peak physical condition, but it took a lot of work to get to this stage as the Mayo star had to drastically bulk up for the inter-county game.
A boxer in his youth, O'Donoghue spent a lot of his earlier years trying to cut weight in order to make the scales for his fights, but as he came through the ranks in Gaelic football, he needed to start doing the opposite.
A diet of dry chicken and pasta was all the Mayo man would eat after his years competing in boxing, but with the help of the county's nutritionist, he's been able to change that.
Speaking on the latest episode of the GAA Hour, O'Donoghue explains how he managed to put on the necessary size to compete.
"Eventually with our nutritionist Evan Regan over the last couple of years I have been more diverse with my diet, because I had to, to be able to put on size and stuff like that to compete at inter-county level."
"There was a period where Evan had me putting on four or five kilos and I was eating 4,000 calories a day, but if I was boxing now it would probably be around the low 70s, but now I'm in and around 78kg, but as all boxers know you're trying to go that weight below you're natural weight.
"I was using the Optimum Nutrition, Oat Gainers, so it was like three scoops, three times a day, and they were literally 1,100 calories each.
"Then you're trying to get your breakfast, lunch and dinner on top of that, and eating things like rice cakes and peanut butter, and all the good things that have loads of calories, you cant just go to the takeaways, Supermacs, or pizza.
"Evan Regan was brilliant, he literally has everything out on a plate for us to follow. Now it was tough, and you had to gym on top of that, I was playing with UL at the time, but it was like the apprenticeship you had to go through to reach the demands of inter-county football."
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