Last Updated on November 3, 2020 by Ed Joven
No Pinoy has achieved more world-wide fame than Manny Pacquiao. The boxer has been in the spotlight for the better part of two decades, both for in-ring mastery and out-of-the-ring endeavors such as basketball, films, and Philippine politics.
But here’s the secret: none of this would’ve been remotely possible if not for Pacquiao’s diet. It’s true, really. You see, you don’t achieve all-time great status without eating right — boxing training and natural instincts be damned.
And make no mistake about it, Pacquiao is in the GOAT conversation. The not-yet-retired “Pac Man,” as he’s nicknamed. Holds a career record of 62-7, with 39 of those wins coming from knockout. He’s manhandled many of the sport’s greats — Oscar De La Hoya, Tim Bradley, Miguel Cotto, etc — in front of sold-out Las Vegas crowds.
But perhaps most impressively, Pacquiao has claimed 12 world championships in eight separate weight classes over his career. From his first taste of gold at flyweight (112 pounds) to his most recent at welterweight (147 pounds), that achievement is nothing short of incredible.
Moving up weight classes in boxing can be very dicey. The extra weight, even if it’s only a few pounds, has huge effects on power, reflexes, speed, and everything in between. To successfully make the move, diet plays a huge factor, which should tell you how committed Pacquiao must’ve been in the kitchen.
We’ve done our homework to see what type of diet and commitment launched Pacquiao into the pantheon of legends in boxing history. Here’s some quick facts about Pacquiao’s eating habits:
Furnace For A Metabolism
“Ridiculous” and “freakish” — that’s how Justin Fortune described Pacquiao’s metabolism. Fortune has been his strength and conditioning coach on two different occasions, including his most recent win against Keith Thurman (which ended his undefeated run).
Per Fortune, Pacquiao guzzles down 7,000 calories of food during fight lead-ups without a hitch. 7,000 calories! Moreover, Pacquioa fought Thurman at 147 pounds so that should give you a hint about how many calories he burns through training, too.
And the fact that he did this while being 40 years old at the time (he’ll soon turn 42 in December) makes it all the more impressive. The common person’s metabolism slows down as they age, but apparently not Pacquiao’s. A life dedicated to clean eating and vigorous exercise likely helped keep Pac Man’s metabolism in tip-top condition.
Manny’s Favorite Dishes
To fuel his insane body whilst training, Pacquiao guzzles down six meals per day. And not surprisingly, that includes a lot of Pinoy favorites.
Among Pacquiao’s go-to meals includes Beef Tapa, chicken broth made with papaya, ginger and onions, dried squid, kebab, and of course, Tinolang Manok. White rice and vegetables accompany nearly every meal, too.
Protein shakes are also fixtures in Pacquiao’s nutrition plan. According to his trainers, he wakes up at 3 in the morning. And downs a shake within minutes, kick-starting his entire body in the process.
If there’s one takeaway here it’s that you are what you eat. In Pacquiao’s case, that’s a lean-and-mean eating machine.
Warm Milk Or Else
Of course, Pinoys hold warm milk near and dear to their hearts. However, that concept is less familiar to others — particularly Americans — who can’t imagine dairy served any other way besides refrigerator cold.
Just ask Buboy Fernandez, one of Pacquiao’s closest friends. Former trainer of Pacquiao, Freddy Roach, has a funny story involving the two that includes warm milk.
Per Roach, Manny once slapped Fernandez across the face because Buboy handed him a bowl of Beef Bulalo without warm milk present. Ask yourself this, is warm milk — or any other drink or meal for that matter — worth slapping your best friend in the face for?
Apparently, that incident was one of two times that Roach ever saw Pacquiao furious. Here’s a guy that gets punched in the head for a living. And yet, it’s a lack of warm milk that sets him off like a firework.
Whether it’s warm milk-fueled anger, eating 7,000 calories daily, or 3 am wake-up calls to power up his body, Pacquiao takes his diet dead serious. And his out-of-this-world success proves it.