This is how much The Mountain from Game of Thrones eats
Getting a nickname for life is no easy feat. You’re either stuck with one when you’re a kid (hopefully not after doing an embarrassing stunt) or you get one by looking and acting the part. With a name like “The Mountain,” we expect a hulking giant made of pure muscle. Yup, that pretty much sums up Hafþór Júlíus Björnsson.
Sure, he got his nickname from his famed role in the fantasy show everyone is raving about, Game of Thrones. But first, he absolutely owned that part when he came bounding in wielding a broadsword in one hand like it was a feather in season four. Secondly, just look at the man — the Icelander stands at 2.06 metres tall and weighs 180 kilograms. That alone should be enough to earn such a title, but to top it all off, Björnsson is the current Arnold Strongman champion, World’s Ultimate Strongman, Europe’s Strongest Man and (surprise, surprise) the World’s Strongest Man.
So, how does one feed a man of near-superhuman stature? Fuel-Up by Kcal, the UAE’s original food prep company for the seriously serious athlete, has the answer to that. Björnsson recently visited Dubai for the launch of the World’s Ultimate Strongman Incubator Programme – a new project taking strength athletes with potential and helping them on the way to competing on a world level. Fuel-Up’s Nutritional Director, Lauren Jacobsen, worked on the meal plan with him, and by the looks of it, we’re not sure how anyone can find the time in the day to eat it all.
The Need to Feed
You know those days when you feel like you could eat a horse? Well, Björnsson doesn’t just feel like it, he basically does it. The strongest man eats six meals every day, which equals over 5,000 calories a day, which is over 35,000 calories a week. Let’s put it this way, your regular Joe needs an average of 2,500 calories per day to maintain his figure, less if he wants to lose weight. Björnsson is literally eating more than double of this Joe person’s intake on a daily basis. Is that a light bulb going off in your head? Yes, that’s why he can rightfully be called The Mountain.
This daily monstrous menu consists of 200g of tenderloin steak, 200g of mashed sweet potato and 100g of a carrot and pepper mix. Oh, and times that by three to make up half of his daily meals. The other three include 200g of minced ribeye, 200g of white rice and again, 100g of a carrot and pepper mix. All in all, it’s over 21kg of food in a given week. ‘Over,’ you ask? Yes, as this doesn’t include his breakfast and all the other bits and pieces that go into his belly. He also has a litre of bone broth with his meals which he calls a “monster mash” — a type of wet food that allows athletes to eat larger portions of food to bulk up for competitions. He doesn’t have to eat that, but he does anyway.
Each of his meals is specially prepared with only organic butter, oil and seasoning. How does anyone have the time to cook all that, let alone eat it? The trick is, he doesn’t. When he was in Dubai, a special team of cooks had it delivered to his hotel room. In fact, during the filming of Game of Thrones, which can be up to 16 hours a day, Björnsson had an assistant that fed him every two-and-a-half hours to keep his strict nutritional regime in check. Lucky guy.
Balance is key
Fuel Up knows all the ins-and-outs about sustaining Björnsson’s muscle mass, and it takes a whole lot of protein, carbs and vegetables to make it happen. Protein is the main building block of muscles, and without ample amounts, it’s impossible to make a full recovery after a heavy workout session, let alone build more muscle. As for those delightful carbs (that are used right), they have a few functions. Not only are they the main energy driver for the muscles, but carb-loading ensures he has a full tank of energy to use during a workout. Post-workout carbs help drive protein into the muscles, where they’re needed to help facilitate the recovery process. Lastly (which is fittingly the thing always left on our plates), vegetables offer a natural source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and those vitamins help us release the energy from the foods we eat, while the fibre helps with the digestion process. That’s all well and good, but we certainly like the sound of the carb-loading part.
Why so Bulky?
We all dream of eating copious amounts of delicious food, but Björnsson isn’t doing it to be the king of foodies, he’s eating that amount to keep his title as the world’s strongest man, and The Mountain, of course. Fueled Up explained that the amount of food is proportionate to a few things, with his natural size and activity levels being the key factors. Everyone has a minimum number of calories to fulfill in order to just survive, but with Björnsson, the meal has to add on the calories he needs to support his intense workouts, maintain his muscle mass, and to perform those stupidly heavy lifts, as well as helping with his post-workout recovery. It’s like a machine, except this machine’s function lifted 473kg (that’s the weight of a small car) during the 2018 Arnold Strongman Classic, setting a new record in the discipline. All the cogs in this machine are clearly well oiled.
So you think you can be the next Mountain?
If you’re thinking you could eat all that food and turn out the way Björnsson looks, we’ve got some bad news for you. No one needs that amount of calories unless you’re as active or have as much muscle as the Mountain (although, who really does?). But let’s delve into the realm of imagination here and say you do eat that much — what would happen? If you’re an average size, expect pounding headaches, nausea and a general feeling of bursting, constantly. Kind of like Violet Beauregarde in Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. If you want to try that out, be our guest, but don’t expect any Oompa Loompas to come and help roll you out.
The Mountain’s Daily menu
200g tenderloin steak
200g of mashed sweet potato
100g of a carrot/pepper mix.
200g of minced ribeye
200g of white rice
100g of carrot/pepper mix.