Bruce Lee was not just an accomplished martial artist and movie star. He was a living legend. Even after more than four decades of his unfortunate demise, he is still regarded as the fittest man who ever walked the earth. Lee had trained his body to perform like a superhuman. It not only looked great but also performed beyond human capabilities.
But physical training wasn’t the only thing about which Lee was cautious. He also paid great attention to what he is feeding his body. And for that purpose, he relied on a diet plan that kept his fitness levels at peak.
Through this post, we will be throwing light on Bruce Lee’s diet plan that complemented his training plan and skyrocketed his physical capabilities to a whole new level. Let’s begin.
Bruce Lee’s Diet Plan
Bruce Lee had a strong liking for Chinese or other Asian dishes. This was due to the fact that there are a plethora of cuisines available when it comes to Asian dishes. Talking specifically about Chinese food dishes, his favorite dish was beef in oyster sauce. He also used to eat chicken or shrimp with tofu and vegetables.
Lee’s diet plan had a greater proportion of Chinese food items. He believed that the larger amounts of noodles, rice, and vegetables in Chinese foods make them a rich source of carbohydrates.
Even though Bruce Lee was not a full-fledged vegetarian or vegan, he made sure that his diet plan has plenty of vegetables in it. Chinese food dishes that are made with a lot of vegetables were his all-time favorite.
He even mixed various vegetables in his protein shakes. Rumour has it that Lee used to follow a vegetarian diet for shorter periods of time owing to some spiritual reasons. Otherwise, he followed a non-vegetarian diet plan most of his life. It primarily comprised food items like steak, chicken, shrimp, beef, and liver.
Bruce Lee used to consume four or five smaller meals a day instead of consuming three large meals. This approach kept his metabolism in check and also fetched his body with a consistent supply of all the essential nutrients that promote muscle recovery and growth.
Lee used to train like a freak for which his body required a lot of energy. Hence, to fuel his body with adequate calories, Lee consumed congee. Congee is made by boiling rice to the point that it has soup-like consistency. It is then mixed with organ meats like kidneys, liver, heart, or brain. The rice content in the congee provided his body with carbs whereas the organ meats served as a good source of protein for his body.
To boost his metabolism, Lee used to eat at least one fruit every day. Doing so also helped his body to fulfill its daily requirements of sucrose.
The following table will give you a more detailed overview of Bruce Lee’s meal plan:-
Bruce Lee’s Meal Plan
Meal 1- Breakfast
Fish and pork liver confer, black tea and orange juice
Meal 2- Mid-morning snack
Protein shake (made using powdered milk, wheat germ, banana, raw eggs, and peanut butter)
Meal 3- Lunch
Rice with beef, greens and oyster sauce, salad and tea
Meal 4- Evening snack
Apple and carrot juice
Meal 5- Dinner
Spaghetti with meat sauce and salad
Bruce Lee’s protein drink
Bruce Lee consumed 1-2 protein shakes a day to fuel his muscles with adequate nutrients to promote recovery and growth. Lee used to make his protein shake by mixing raw eggs (sometimes with shell), banana, peanut butter, wheat germ (or wheat germ oil), brewers yeast, non-instant powdered milk, and Inositol and Lecithin supplements in a blender.
This protein shake fetched his body with nutrients like protein, healthy fats, carbs, calcium, and vitamin B.
His wife Linda claims that,
“Lee drank his own juice concoctions made from vegetables and fruits, apples, celery, carrots, and so on, prepared in an electric blender.”
Lee always preferred having juices as he believed that doing so allows the body to assimilate nutrients quite easily. The enzymes that are derived from juiced veggies serve as an organic catalyst that not only facilitates the absorption of nutrients but also boosts one’s metabolism.
Lee also used to mix ginseng and royal jelly into his smoothies and juices. Being rich sources of Vitamins A, C, D, E, minerals, acetylcholine, amino acids, and B-complex vitamins, those ingredients made Lee’s protein shakes more nutritious and wholesome.
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Bruce Lee did not like dairy products. Milk, cheese, butter, cottage cheese were never a part of his diet plan. To utilize the muscle-building qualities of dairy products, he relied on using non-instant powdered milk in his cereals and protein shakes. Non-instant powdered milk tends to have a greater amount of calcium as compared to its counterparts.
What food does Bruce Lee eat?
Bruce Lee’s lean and ripped physique was the result of his eating habits. He was always disciplined about what he was feeding his body. Food items that are rich in nutrients were the staple of his nutrition plan.
Bruce Lee’s diet chart comprised of the following food items:-
- Whole eggs
- Leafy vegetables
- Raw veggies
- Fresh fruits
- Peanut butter
Lee also consumed black tea with either honey or sugar.
What food does Bruce Lee avoid?
Bruce Lee always kept himself away from eating food items that are filled with empty or bad calories. Owing to this, he was able to maintain his ripped 6-packs throughout the year. Lee avoided refined flour and baked food items including biscuits and cakes. He claimed that baked food items have empty calories that don’t provide the body with any benefits whatsoever.
The following food items had no place in Lee’s diet chart:-
- Dairy products
- Refined flour
- Baked food items
- Junk food
- Processed food
- Artificial sweeteners
- Chemical additives
Bruce Lee’s Supplements
The supplement industry in the 60s and 70s was not as prosperous as it is now. Hence, there were only a handful of supplements available and they too were used only by professional athletes. Bruce Lee had studied pretty much about nutrition and knew what his body requires to perform optimally. To serve that purpose, he relied on certain supplements.
Bruce Lee’s supplements stack included the following:-
Natural Protein Tablets
Protein is the most essential nutrient that supports muscle recovery and growth. Lee used to supplement his diet plan with protein tablets to fulfill his body’s everyday protein requirements.
Magnesium aids in supporting numerous metabolic processes. It also helps in reducing blood pressure levels and allows one’s body to get rid of water weight. This in turn makes your body attain a leaner and shredded look.
Inositol is usually found in high-bran-based cereals. It keeps the health of cell membranes, especially bone marrow, brain, intestines, and eyes in check. Research has also shown that inositol contributes positively to mental health.
Lecithin is a mixture of triglycerides, phospholipids, and glycolipids. It is a great supplement that positively contributes to improving digestion. It also helps in improving one’s athletic performance.
Vitamin C serves as an antioxidant that contributes towards the prevention of diseases and keeping one’s health in check. It supports the recuperation and growth of muscle tissues as well which in turn leads to improved physical endurance.
Wheat-germ oil is extracted from the wheat kernel’s germ. It is rich in octacosanol. Apart from being a rich source of Omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin E, octacosanol also serves as an agent that boosts physical performance.
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The Bottom Line
There is an adage that says, “the way your body responds is a clear indicator of what you are feeding your body.” Lee believed that adage whole-heartedly and therefore he was always disciplined about his eating habits.
Building a body that can be able to perform feats like Bruce Lee could be delusional. But there is a lot that we still can learn from him and his diet plan. The least of it is taking good care of our body by feeding it well and nutritiously.