Babe Ruth Diet: Meals Fit for a Legend

Explore Babe Ruth's legendary diet - a tale of towering home runs and epic eating. Uncover the man behind the myth.

What Was Babe Ruth Diet?

When you think of baseball legends, Babe Ruth's name invariably comes to mind. He was not just a baseball icon; he was a larger-than-life personality known for his incredible athletic feats, both on and off the field. But perhaps one of the most fascinating aspects of Babe Ruth's life was his legendary appetite and his extraordinary diet, which was as renowned as his towering statistics and historic achievements in the world of baseball.

While Babe Ruth's daily calorie intake may vary depending on the sources and specific days, it's estimated that he consumed an astonishing 6,000 to 8,000 calories on average per day. To put this into perspective, the typical recommended daily calorie intake for an adult male is around 2,500 to 3,000 calories. Babe Ruth's diet was, without a doubt, a spectacle of excess. (You can check out our Macronutrient to Calorie Converter here).

In this blog post, we take an in-depth look at the remarkable diet of Babe Ruth, exploring the meals that fueled the Sultan of Swat, the snacks that sustained him during doubleheaders, and the larger-than-life persona that turned every meal into an event. Join us on a culinary journey through the life and appetite of one of the greatest baseball players in history.

babe ruth diet

Who Is Babe Ruth?

Babe Ruth, born George Herman Ruth Jr. in 1895, was an American baseball legend who transcended the sport with his remarkable talent, charismatic personality, and, of course, his unforgettable diet.

Ruth's journey to becoming a baseball icon began in 1914 when he was signed to the Orioles minor league team. His incredible skills as both a pitcher and a hitter quickly earned him a spot with the Boston Red Sox. By the end of the 1916 season, he was known as a formidable pitcher who could also smash home runs, a rarity in his era.

However, Ruth's ambitions extended beyond the pitcher's mound. He craved more playing time, and to achieve that, he transitioned to become an outfielder. This move marked a turning point in his career, allowing him to showcase his powerful batting and change the game of baseball forever.

While Babe Ruth's dietary habits were astonishing, his baseball statistics were equally remarkable. Here's a table showcasing some of his most notable career statistics:

Category Statistic
Win-Loss Record (Pitching) 94 Wins - 46 Losses
Career Batting Average .342
Career Home Runs 714
Single-Season Home Run Record 60 (1927)
OPS (On-Base Plus Slugging) 1.164
AL MVP Awards 1 (1923)

Now, let's delve into the dietary habits that became as legendary as his on-field performances. Babe Ruth's diet was nothing short of astonishing, characterized by excessive consumption and unconventional choices. From the colossal breakfasts to the mid-morning snacks and hearty lunches, Ruth's meals were as extravagant as his home runs.

Babe Ruth's Diet: A Breakfast Fit for a Legend

Now, let's dive into the extraordinary breakfast that Babe Ruth, the Sultan of Swat, indulged in as part of his legendary diet:

When it came to breakfast, Babe Ruth didn't just eat; he put on a performance. This was a man who approached his morning meal with the same gusto and flair that he brought to the baseball field. So, what did a typical morning look like for the Bambino?

Picture this: Babe Ruth sitting down to a breakfast spread that would leave most of us in awe and disbelief. It all started with a plate featuring:

  • A hefty Porterhouse Steak
  • Piles of Potatoes
  • A quart of Bourbon and Ginger Ale
  • An astonishing 18-Egg Omelet

Yes, you read that correctly - an 18-egg omelet! Babe Ruth's mornings began with a protein-packed feast that could rival a king's banquet. But it didn't stop there. Ruth was a man of excess, both on and off the field, and his breakfast was a testament to his larger-than-life persona.

Legend has it that he preferred his steaks raw, often dousing them in an entire bottle of chili sauce. It was a breakfast fit for a dinosaur, and it set the tone for his day of epic eating and record-breaking home runs.

But what about his choice of morning beverage? For most of us, it's a cup of coffee to kickstart the day. But for Babe Ruth, it was an entirely different story. Instead of coffee, he opted for four cups of bourbon and ginger ale. That's right; he began his day with a dose of spirits that would leave many bewildered.

Ruth's breakfast habits were the stuff of legends. During his playing days, he had an appetite that could only be described as astonishing. There are stories of him downing beers and devouring hot dogs at a rate that would send most people to the hospital. In one tale, he polished off 12 hot dogs and washed them down with 8 bottles of soda during a doubleheader.

But Babe Ruth wasn't content with merely eating; he loved to put on a show. He would entertain crowds of fans with his eating feats, turning mealtime into a spectacle. Sometimes, it was pure comedy, like the time he asked a waiter to adorn his steak with a border of lamb chops.

On average, it's estimated that Ruth consumed around 6,000 calories per day. His favorite snacks included pickled eels and chocolate ice cream. Legendary sportswriter H.G. Salsinger once noted, "He could eat more, drink more, smoke more, swear more, and enjoy himself more than any contemporary."

So, when we talk about the "Babe Ruth diet," we're not just discussing food; we're delving into the extraordinary world of a man who lived life to the fullest, both on and off the baseball field.

Snack #1 - Mid-Morning Fuel

But Babe Ruth's appetite didn't stop there. Between meals, he enjoyed a mid-morning snack:

  • 2 Hot Dogs
  • 2 Coca-Cola

A quick energy boost consisting of classic ballpark fare: hot dogs and a soda.

Lunch - A Meaty Affair

As lunchtime rolled around, Babe Ruth continued his culinary adventure:

  • 2 Raw Steaks
  • 2 Orders of Potatoes
  • 1 Lettuce Head with Roquefort Dressing

Two raw steaks? It might sound unconventional, but for the Bambino, it was just another meal.

Snack #2 - Another Round of Deliciousness

Afternoon hunger pangs were no match for Babe Ruth:

  • 2 Hot Dogs
  • 2 Coca-Cola

Hot dogs and soda made a repeat appearance, satisfying his cravings.

Dinner - The Evening Feast

As the day wound down, Babe Ruth's dinner showcased his appetite:

  • 2 Porterhouse Steaks (raw)
  • 2 Lettuce Heads with Roquefort Dressing
  • 2 Cottage Fried Potatoes
  • 2 Orders of Apple Pie

Raw steaks, more lettuce with dressing, fried potatoes, and a double serving of apple pie. Babe Ruth truly knew how to enjoy a hearty dinner.

After Dinner Snack - Sweet and Savory

Even after a substantial dinner, Babe Ruth had room for dessert:

  • Chocolate Ice Cream
  • Pickled Eels

Chocolate ice cream and pickled eels might seem like an odd combination, but for the Bambino, it was the perfect way to cap off a day of epic eating.

The Legendary Eater

Babe Ruth's diet wasn't just about quantity; it was about his unique preferences. He had a penchant for raw steaks, often smothered in chili sauce. His breakfast, with its staggering number of eggs and a quart of bourbon and ginger ale, was the stuff of legends.

Ruth's beverage of choice in the morning wasn't coffee; it was a quart of bourbon and ginger ale. While this may have been unconventional, it undoubtedly added to his legendary status both on and off the field.

Babe Ruth's Legacy

Babe Ruth's incredible eating habits were just one facet of his larger-than-life persona. He was not only a phenomenal baseball player but also a cultural icon of his time. His penchant for partying and disregard for traditional dietary norms set him apart from his peers.

Despite his unorthodox lifestyle, Babe Ruth's impact on the world of baseball and sports, in general, cannot be overstated. He redefined the game and set records that stood for decades, some of which still hold to this day.

Is Babe Ruth's Diet Good for You?

While Babe Ruth's dietary choices were undoubtedly unique and even legendary, it's essential to address whether his diet can be considered healthy by today's standards. The truth is, Babe Ruth's diet was far from a model of balanced nutrition.

Ruth's daily meals included massive quantities of red meat, excessive alcohol consumption, and sugary treats. He often started his day with an 18-egg omelet and washed it down with a quart of bourbon and ginger ale. Snacks consisted of hot dogs and Coca-Cola, and his dinners were dominated by raw steaks, fried potatoes, and rich desserts.

From a nutritional standpoint, Babe Ruth's diet lacked the essential components of a healthy diet, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. It was high in saturated fats, sodium, and empty calories. His overindulgence in alcohol further raises concerns about the impact on his health.

Modern nutritionists and health experts would advise against adopting Babe Ruth's eating habits. Such a diet is associated with an increased risk of heart disease, obesity, and other health issues. It's essential to remember that Ruth's extraordinary athletic abilities may have masked the negative effects of his diet during his playing career.

So, while Babe Ruth's diet was undoubtedly part of his larger-than-life persona, it's not a dietary model to follow if you're looking to prioritize your health and well-being.


In conclusion, Babe Ruth's diet was as unique as the man himself. While it may not have been a model of healthy eating, it was undeniably a reflection of his colorful personality and the times in which he lived. Babe Ruth will forever be remembered not only for his incredible athleticism but also for his legendary appetite that made him the most famous eater in sports history.

Thank you for joining us on this gastronomic journey through the life and diet of Babe Ruth. His legacy lives on, both on the baseball diamond and in the annals of unconventional eating habits.


Paláu JJ. Babe Ruth. Baltimore (EE.UU., 6-2-1895)- Nueva York (EE.UU., 16-8-1948) [Babe Ruth. Baltimore (USA, 6-2-1895)- New York (USA, 16-8-1948)]. Arch Soc Esp Oftalmol. 2011 Dec;86(12):426-7. Spanish. doi: 10.1016/j.oftal.2011.11.002. PMID: 22117747.

Steensma DP, Shampo MA, Kyle RA. George Herman "Babe" Ruth Jr: baseball star and early participant in a cancer clinical trial. Mayo Clin Proc. 2008 Nov;83(11):1262. doi: 10.4065/83.11.1262. PMID: 19004136.

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