Ronnie O'Sullivan has a cook book. It's called 'Top Of Your Game: Eating For Mind And Body' and it was written with nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert. Now, pretty every high-profile sportsperson has a cookbook these days, but given the author and his fascinating career, this book deserves a bit more attention.
Speaking to the BBC Radio 4 podcast They Don't Know The Score recently, O'Sullivan discussed his relationship with food and how sorting out his nutrition has had a massive effect on his well-being. His thoughts will interest anyone who would like to better themselves.
O'Sullivan says that in his younger days he had problematic, if typical, relationship with food to many other elite sportspeople. When O'Sullivan trained for a competition, he treated his body like a temple. When he was out of competition, he ate whatever he wanted. That blasé approach to nutrition occasionally trickled into his preparation for major tournaments.
O'Sullivan has taken a more holistic approach to living in recent years, and realised that staying in top physical and mental shape requires a quality diet. O'Sullivan also found that he was eating way too much.
"When I was training three times a day, I didn't have time to eat big meals. The more I trained, the less I ate. I'd got through periods of exercising twice a day, but in between those sessions, I'd have to watch how much I ate. And it got me thinking about whether we need all of this food. We often eat out of boredom, out of addiction.
"It wasn't until I started working with Rhiannon who said, 'start measuring your food out'. I thought to myself 'I can't be one of these people measuring my food out. What if I'm at a snooker tournament and I've got to ask the woman for a scale so I can measure out my chicken and my potatoes? She's going to think I'm off my head.
Now I know what a portion size is for a person like me. I don't buy into this idea: 'because it's on my plate, I need to eat it'. Someone showed me a different way.
O'Sullivan also learned the hard way that eating right isn't just about the food you don't eat. After massively reducing his carbohydrate intake, O'Sullivan found he could barely concentrate, both around the snooker table and in real life.
"I was having dizzy periods. I couldn't have a conversation. And then Rhainnon said to me, 'Ah that makes sense, carbs feed the brain'. I just presumed everything you put your body was the same. I wasn't starving myself. I wasn't undereating."
O'Sullivan has been working Rhiannon for the last 18 months as says this is the best he has ever felt.
O'Sullivan also advised anyone serious about getting their nutrition in check to commit to an 8-12 week plan as opposed to expecting overnight results.