After years of training and preparation, one could expect an Olympian to celebrate winning a gold medal with an ensuing night of fun and debauchery.
However, Michael Phelps has been there before. In fact, he's been there more than any other Olympian in history, so his "celebration" wasn't much of a celebration at all.
After winning his 23rd medal, a gold in the 4x100m freestyle relay, Phelps went back home and ate a pound (450g) of spaghetti - about the amount four people might eat for dinner - to replenish his body and the energy he exerted in the pool.
Although eating a full pound of pasta may sound like a good time for those who enjoy that kind of thing, Phelps somehow doesn't exactly care for spaghetti so it was more of a business decision than anything else.
"I tried to do as much as I could, get my lactate cleared, had a massage, had an ice bath, eat," said Phelps, according to AP. "I think I had a pound of spaghetti and I am not a spaghetti fan, I forced myself to eat it."
That's the kind of commitment the 31-year-old Phelps has shown over the course of the swimming career that has made him the most decorated Olympian in history.
Amazingly enough, that pound of pasta is (almost) nothing compared to what Phelps used to put into his body when he was younger. Phelps' diet was well-documented during the 2008 Games in Beijing, when he consumed about 12,000 calories a day during training.
Back then, Phelps used to eat three egg sandwiches, a five-egg omelette, grits, three pieces of french toast and three pancakes for breakfast. He would eat a pound of pasta for lunch, in addition to two ham and cheese sandwiches and 1000 calorie energy drinks. Then he would top it off with another pound of pasta, a whole pizza and more energy drinks for dinner. Even just reading that daily consumption could make mere mortals feel sick.
But Phelps insists that his diet these days isn't quite as intense, saying that he basically only takes in what he needs to get by. Judging from his post-race meal on Monday, though, that bare minimum is still quite a lot.