Men’s Open bodybuilder Hunter Labrada is in the heat of off-season preparing for his next Mr. Olympia competition in December 2022. And while eating — and eating often — is par for the course for any professional bodybuilder. But on May 18, 2022, in a day of eating video posted to his YouTube channel, Labrada revealed an interesting dietary factoid: He drinks four of his six daily meals.
While Labrada’s liquid-based diet may seem strange — because, well, it is a little offbeat — the IFBB Pro digs deeper into his reasons and walks fans through all six meals. You can check out Hunter Labrada’s full day of eating/drinking below, as well as a comprehensive breakdown of his current bodybuilding diet:
Why Four Shakes a Day?
The IFBB Pro admits that he struggles with his appetite but understands the need to push carbs during the off-season. To combat this challenge, he uses shakes instead of trying to consume eight ounces of animal protein per meal.
“I do handle animal protein well, I just don’t think I can handle animal protein well, doing six meals a day of it,” Labrada explains. “[Consuming shakes] has been a godsend for my digestion…that and I literally have the appetite of a four-year-old.”
Next to his food scale sits a small dish of digestive enzymes that Labrada adds to his food/shakes.
Kicking off his morning, Labrada consumes two Bobo’s Oat Bars, made with oats as well as two scoops of hydrolyzed isolate whey protein. As of late, the bodybuilder has been starting his days with these easy meals around 7 or 8 a.m. After consuming his first meal, Labrada goes back to bed for a few hours.
“I really like the Bobo’s Bars they’re super dense,” Labrada says. “Each one of them is 12 grams of fat and 60 grams of carbs. So, two of them is a big, big meal for most people.”
Labrada starts on his second meal of the day, which is another whey protein powder shake with vaporized Rice Krispie Treats cereal mixed in.
My appetite absolutely sucks so that’s why I drink so much food.
According to Labrada, it’s essential to eat for oneself, and not focus on the external pressures of eating what people in the bodybuilding sector think is best.
“Eat for yourself. If eating two pounds of meat a day is making you walk around pregnant…and smelling like a chemical weapon, maybe think about what you’re doing,” he quips.
Labrada says he’s not the only high-profile athlete practicing a liquid diet as fellow Men’s Open bodybuilder Brett ‘The Butcher’ Wilkin has also utilized a similar routine because of his poor appetite.
Hunter admits that he’s yet to show up with his best conditioning at a competition but plans to change that this year. For his third meal, Labrada ingests 130 grams of Rice Krispies and 66 grams of whey protein.
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“Meal three. It’s really exciting,” Labrada jokes. “It’s the same exact thing as meal two: 130 grams of Rice Krispies and 66 grams of whey protein [Hydra].”
Labrada revealed that he takes down a family box of Rice Krispie cereal about every two days. After running out of whey protein powder, Labrada opts to use two scoops of Labrada ISO Whey isolate instead. The Pro bodybuilder mentioned that consuming ISO Whey isolate instead of whey protein powder could potentially cause stomach problems.
Labrada finally ingested his first solid food of the day for meal four but emphasized that it has to be made up of at least 100 grams of carbohydrates and 50 grams of protein.
Tonight, we did one of my favorite Mexican places two minutes from my house.
“Meal five is going to be 300 grams of rice and 200 grams of chicken,” Labrada says. “What we’re going to do is throw 200-grams of chicken in the blender.”
Labrada separates his rice intake into eight bites so it doesn’t take too long. His focus this off-season has been geared around consuming food in a quick and easy manner.
Hunter caps off a day of eating with his sixth and final meal consisting of two Bobo’s Oat Bars and two more scoops of hydrolyzed isolate, a replication of his first meal earlier in the day.
“Same as meal one right now, which is two of the Bobo’s Bars and two scoops of hydrolyzed isolate.” Hunter Labrada clarifies.
On the Hunt
Labrada intends to make championship-level gains during this respective off-season. In 2021, Labrada — son of the famous bodybuilder Lee Labrada — placed fourth, behind Hadi Choopan, Brandon Curry, and Mamdouh Elssbiay.
It was an impressive showing, especially consider Labrada placed eighth in 2020. By improving four spots and breaking into the top five, Labrada proved himself a true contender to the throne. But first, he has another challenge to contend with: stomaching more of those chicken shakes.
Featured Image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram