On May 18, 2022, bodybuilder Hunter Labrada shared a full day of eating video on his YouTube channel that reveals four of the six meals he eats per day during his off-season are in liquid form. The notion that a legitimate contender for the Mr. Olympia title doesn’t eat whole foods with a lot of veggies every meal compelled his followers to inquire about more detail as to why and how a primarily liquid diet works for him.
On June 6, 2022, Labrada took to his YouTube channel to reveal those answers and get more specific about what goes in the liquid meals he consumes and why he opts to drink his calories. The central answers are to improve his digestion and maintain his narrow waist while packing on off-season muscle mass. Check out the full follow-up video about Labrada’s diet below:
[Related: Derek Lunsford Eats Six Meals Per Day and Two Cheat Meals Per Week During His Off-Season]
To Rice Krispy or Not to Rice Krispy
The first clarification Labrada makes is about Rice Krispy Treats. He isn’t eating the processed sugar rice bars even though he finds them delicious. What he is actually mixing into his shakes is puffed rice cereal. More specifically, H-E-B Select Crispy Rice Cereal, which has the following nutritional value per 40-gram serving:
- Calories: 160
- Fat: zero grams
- Carbs: 37 grams
- Sugar: four grams (all added sugar)
- Protein: three grams
These changes improved his digestion to what he feels is optimal while consuming over 900 grams of carbohydrates and 350 grams of protein per day to fuel his training.
Much of Labrada’s feedback from his first video was about his supposed lack of micronutrients. Labrada agreed with the astute observation but quelled the concerns by sharing his supplementation aside from his diet.
Labrada pulled out his pill box that looked like something one might find in a tool shed. In it are his daily vitamins, organ supplements, and multi-minerals that he consumes daily with reds and greens powders.
I’m doing a better job of getting the phytonutrients and micronutrients [than] you’d be getting from vegetables and fruit my diet is missing.
I’m trying to minimize my food volume as much as possible while maximizing my nutrition.
Labrada backs up his stance that supplementation is an effective means of supplying sufficient nutrition as his blood work routinely returns results with micronutrient values in the proper range.
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[Related: Breon Ansley Prioritizes Mind-Muscle Connection Over Heavier Weight in Training]
Fish Oil and Oat Bars
In the two shakes that Labrada pours that puffed rice cereal into, Labrada also adds a tablespoon of Carlson’s Fish Oil — 14 grams of healthy fats he is content adding to his diet.
Labrada opts for Bobo’s Oat Bars as a snack between meals and ran through the ingredient list to reinforce that he is highly conscious about what he is putting in his body. Each bar has 170 calories and eight grams of added sugar, but it comes from organic cane sugar rather than anything processed or refined.
The Mr. Olympia contender acknowledged that his current diet is “not the best way to consume your calories,” but is doing so as it is an effective way for him to maintain his caloric surplus to put on mass before the 2022 Olympia on Dec. 16-18, 2022, in Las Vegas, NV. At the time of this article’s publication, Labrada weighs a lean 282 pounds.
With the longest off-season of his career — 13 months — Labrada maintains his narrow waistline by keeping the overall volume of food he consumes low. The requisite nutritional value is still present, but the overall volume of food is less than it would be if his liquid meals were whole foods instead.
Featured image: @hunterlabrada on Instagram