Caeleb Dressel Workout and Diet

Olympic Swimmer

Born: 1996

Caeleb Dressel is from Florida. Always athletic, he played soccer, football, and ran track in addition to swimming. He earned honors for swimming in high school and at the University of Florida. Dressel went pro in 2018. He holds American records in the 50- and 100-yard freestyle, the 100-yard butterfly, and the 200-yard individual medley. He has 22 Olympic medals so far, 20 of which are gold. He is one of only 5 Americans to have earned 5 gold medals at a single Olympics since 1970. Dressel also holds numerous other wins including a record 7 golds at the 2017 World Aquatics Championships. He posts videos on YouTube analyzing his swims. Sponsors include Speedo, Omega, and Toyota. In 2021, he married fellow swimmer Meghan Haila. Dressel has hundreds of thousands of followers on social media. He is 6 feet, 3 inches tall and weighs about 200 lbs.

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Caeleb Dressel’s Diet

Diet Summary

For someone who works out as hard as Dressel, he is remarkably restrained in his eating habits. In the morning, he’ll only have a light meal of carbs because he doesn’t want anything that makes him feel full. After his first swim, he’ll have a protein bar and chocolate milk. Lunch and dinner are more substantial, with a healthy balance of protein, veg, fruit and more fiber-filled carbs. Pool water doesn’t cut it for hydration. Dressel drinks plenty of normal water.

Estimated Macros

Medium Protein

Medium Fat

Medium-High Carb

Diet Details

Breakfast of Champions

Dressel doesn’t want anything to weigh him down when he’s swimming. He’ll only have carbs before his first swim session. Top pick: oatmeal with honey or Wheaties.

Tasty Fuel

After a workout, Dressel will have a protein bar and chocolate milk to replenish glycogen.

Bring on the Food

After his second swim, Dressel is famished and eats as fast as he can. Faves include meatloaf and wings.

What to Eat

  • Oatmeal
  • Non-sugar cereal
  • Honey
  • Eggs
  • Chicken
  • Seafood
  • Meatloaf
  • Pasta
  • Whole grains
  • Vegetables
  • Salad
  • Fruit
  • Water

What to Avoid

  • Overeating before a workout
  • Junk food
  • Processed food
  • Fast food
  • Artificial ingredients
  • Chemicals

Dressel on his morning meal

I never eat a lot before I get in the water.

Dressel on his food preferences

I could eat seafood at every meal.

Dressel on snacks

I graze throughout the day on apples and oranges.

Dressel on dinner

I get get food as fast as I can.

Dressel on his favorite food

I love meatloaf so much.

Dressel on his favorite sweet

I absolutely love honey.

Caeleb Dressel’s Workout Routine

Workout Routine

The Key to Success

Dressel says the key to succeeding in your big goals is to break it down into small, incremental steps.

Life as a Laboratory

Dressel uses his practice time to experiment, seeing what works and what doesn’t. He accepts that it’s okay to struggle and make mistakes.

Perfectionism: The Double-Edged Sword

Dressel is a perfectionist which he says is the thing that allows him to win, but it also takes its toll on him mental health.

Daily Dose

Dressel swims twice a day. He also works out in the gym for about 2 hours at a clip.

Loose Structure

While Dressel is always looking to improve, he has a fairly open structure to his schedule and picks exercises based on the day.

Power-Focused Training

Dressel’s lifting routine is designed to promote explosive strength. He does a lot of cleans and snatches, as well as jumping on the plyo box.

Track Your Progress

Dressel has been logging his progress since he was a high school student, including stats, times, and technical info. He also tracks his feelings.

Prehab Work

To prevent injury, Dressel does a lot of foam rolling and pre-hab on his shoulders.

Exercise Style

A Caeleb Dressel Routine

Swimming: twice daily
Weight training: 2 hrs daily
Core work
Foam rolling
Shoulder warmups: before each workout.
Sample power workout
Hang clean pulls: 5 reps x 3 sets
Hang cleans: 5, 5, 3, 3, 3
Hang snatch: 5, 5, 3, 3, 3
Seated box jumps: 3 reps x 5 sets
Box jump to backward overhead medicine ball throw: 10 rounds
Medicine ball slams: 10 reps x 5 sets
Weighted sled sprints: 20 yds x 8 rounds

Dressel on his workout focus

Everything I do in the gym translates to being a better swimmer.

Dressel on effort

There’s no room for excuses, for taking shortcuts, or giving half effort.

Dressel on the gym

For me, it’s become almost like a sanctuary.

Dressel on tracking progress

For me, it’s become almost like a sanctuary.

I’ve been keeping practice logs since high school.

I’ve been keeping practice logs since high school.

Dressel on winning

It’s focusing on the little steps along the way.

Dressel on getting an edge

I’m always looking for any little percentage I can gain.

Dressel on perfectionism

I think that’s what makes me great, but I think that can also be detrimental if I want to have longevity in the sport.

Dressel on his approach to fitness

I come to practice every day with the mindset that I’m there to get better.

Caeleb Dressel’s Supplements

Other than protein bars Dressel doesn’t get specific about his supplement regimen. So, below are options that may benefit anyone following a similar diet plan.

Best protein bars

Protein Bars

Protein and electrolytes are essential for endurance activities.



Magnesium, in particular, helps prevent cramping, and it also helps with sleep, which means faster recovery.


Vitamin B12

Also on the must-have list is creatine which boosts muscle gains and recovery.



Essential for energy are vitamins D, A, and E. They can be taken individually, but a multivitamin is always a good idea.

Vitamin C

Vitamin C

Vitamin C helps neutralize chlorine, making it another smart choice for swimmers.



To help manage stress and anxiety that often accompany competition, try l-theanine, curcumin, or ashwagandha.

Caeleb Dressel’s Lifestyle

Sleep Is Key

Plenty of rest is essential for peak performance. In addition to 8 solid hours at night, Dressel tries to get an afternoon nap for a half hour or so each day.

How to Relieve Anxiety

Dressel admits to throwing things away as a concrete way to remove mental and physical obstacles. He tosses everything from his closets to the apps on his phone.

Sweet Love Story

Dressel met future wife Meghan at the pool when they were in high school. They both attended the University of Florida and married on Valentine’s Day, 2021.

How to Relieve Anxiety

Dressel admits to throwing things away as a concrete way to remove mental and physical obstacles. He tosses everything from his closets to the apps on his phone.

Carpe Diem

Dressel kept himself busy during the pandemic by hiking 60 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Other passing interests include off-roading and drumming. He’s also a big gamer.

Mental Health Struggles

Dressel admits to suffering crippling depression and panic attacks. He is one of many Olympic athletes including Simone Biles and Naomi Osaka to talk openly about their mental health issues.

Competitive Decluttering

Dressel says he was a packrat as a teen, and then he started competing with his brother to see who could get rid of the most stuff.

All in the Family

Dressel’s 3 siblings and his father all swam competitively. Dressel’s wife is also swimmer, as is their Labrador Retriever, Jane.

Unique Inspiration

Dressel has many tattoos. His favorite is the eagle inspired by a Bible verse. Toyota designed a vehicle based on some of Dressel’s tattoos in the lead-up to the 2020 summer Olympics.

Dressel on sleep

I do like to sleep…If I have time, I’ll try to sneak a 30-minute nap in.

Dressel on his depression

I didn’t want to do anything — wasn’t going to school, wasn’t swimming. [I] was pretty much just laying in bed all hours of the day for a couple of months.

Dressel on purging to relieve anxiety

I didn’t realize at the time that it was not normal behavior.

Dressel on decluttering

There’s nothing that I’ve regretted that I’ve thrown out.

Dressel on his fur baby

A lot of people have come to know who Jane is, even though they don’t know my name.

Dressel on his goals

The goal is not to count medals. It’s just racing the best I can.

Dressel on fame

I don’t very much care for the spotlight.

Dressel on fashion

I hate wearing shirts.

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