26 November 2012

It's Time To Stop Mocking Indians For Their Clubbells #4- And You Thought Sumo Wrestlers Had A Fucked Up Diet

Before their jacked brown bodies were pulled into the cold, clammy bosom of the British Empire, Indians were hard as fucking nails.  I've already expounded upon this pretty hard, detailing the wacky shit up to which they used to get, like "sports" that consisted of angering male bulls in heat and dinging the world's most dangerous pole dancing, but it went further than that.  Additionally, Indians were fucking jacked back in the day, though their physiques differed pretty markedly from that of what one would typically think of when they're thinking "jacked".  Rather than looking like Ronnie "everybody wanna be big but don't nobody wanna lift no heavy ass weight" Coleman, they looked quite a bit more like what we'd all picture Paul Bunyan to look like- thickly muscled, big-ass forearms, and a thick midsection with a hint of abs but no real definition. They actually pursued that look actively, for some reason, thinking that bodybuilders simply look like a bunch of weird bodyparts jammed together and held in place with the liberal application of staples and hot glue. I don't think, however, it was their training that created the different physiques so much as their diets, however, and the modern diet of the pehlwans (which literally means "strong man", but essentially means "wrestler") is pretty much as wild as you can imagine.  If you thought sumo wrestlers got up to some dietary shenanigans, prepare to have your your mind blown harder than a university of South Carolina running back's knees.

This was not the face of India 500 years ago.  These "noble ascetics" would be called then what they are now- a pack of dirty bums that probably smell like the unwiped assholes of people who live on a diet of curry.  That is to say, they smell like themselves.

Before I dive into the diets of Indian strong men, it bears mentioning that Indian diets differ considerably from person to person, as they base their diet on your general personality profile and your activity level.  Thus, if you're quick-tempered and wrestle and lift all day, you want to eat cool foods, but if you're lazy and stoic, you should probably be eating hot food.  Additionally, Indian Ayurvedic medicine actually prescribes differing diets for each season.  There's a bit of weird logic behind it into which I won't really go, but they recommend, for instance, that you eat fattier foods in the winter, lighter foods in the summer, and lean, protein rich, dry foods in the rainy season.  Basically, you're eating to balance yourself out with the world around you.  This is, I realize, a far fucking cry from what you were probably expecting, given my penchant for breaking down shit by their macronutrients and delving into the complex physiological unpinning of a given dietary choice, but the Indians don't give a fuck about that shit.  They're relying, it seems, on good old-fashioned alchemy, some guesswork, and possibly some magical chicanery for their diets.  There are recommendations and prohibitions for flavor as well, which are too complex and numerous for me to detail but are as interesting as they are nonsensical and amusing to research if you find yourself bored on Wikipedia one day.

I cannot quite dive into Indian lifters' diets yet, though, because I have to debunk a common myth.  That myth is that Hindu Indians eschew any and all meat, with beef being format amongst their dietary taboos.  This is, like most "common knowledge", total fucking horseshit.  Though I would hardly call myself an absolute authority on Indian history, I can state that there appears to be compelling evidence showing that vegetarianism in India is a remarkably modern phenomenon.  It seems to have been imposed, over time, as an outgrowth of theocratic sentiment, rather than any religious prescription.  Similar to the prohibition of meat eating on Fridays by the Catholic Church, there was a rather dark economic rationale behind the prohibition of beef consumption.  Amusingly, the widespread prohibition of beef and other meat consumption occurred contiguous with India's precipitous fall from a position as a world power.  That's not to say these dietary proscriptions were followed, however, but rather that the edicts themselves were issued.

How could you worship a blue-skinned god who rides a crocodile into battle and not eat a steak every day?

In the distant past, Indians ate just about anything made of meat of which you could think- their highest castes considered consecrated meat consumption to actually be a form of worship.  The Rigveda frequently refers to the cooking ox meat for offerings to the gods (Jha 29), offerings of 1, 100, and 300 buffalo were made to the god Indra (Ibid), and cattle sacrifice to the gods Mitra and Varuna (Jha 30).  Compounding this are statements in the Taittiriya Brahmana that "unambiguously" refer to the sacrificial killing of cows, which are "verily food" (Jha 31), and multiple mentions of beef as the best kind of food in the Satapatha Brahmana (Jha 32).  Clearly, the ancient Aryans were busy grilling steaks every night while subjugating the existing populations, but you might wonder if the indigenous non-Aryans sided with or against the Chik-Fil-A cows. The answer's exactly what any rational person would think- they were sidling right up to the grill for seconds.

The Harrappan civilization was already established in India when the Aryans invaded, bringing with them the religion that would later become Hinduism.  These people weren't just lowly hunter-gatherers, either- they had advanced constructions in which they lived that featured toilets with flowing water sewage systems, the most advanced measurement system in the ancient world, the first dentists (evidence of the first drilled molars were found in Harrappan cities), and one of the oldest writing systems in the world.  Despite all of that advancement, they were apparently shitty warriors and got the brakes beat off them by the Aryans, who conquered the Harappans and supplanted their existing culture with Aryan culture and religion.  The produce of the Aryan religion were the Vedas, a series of Brahmanical texts written over time, not unlike the books of the Christian Bible.  Similarly, these books often contradict each other, though the Vedas are fairly uniform in the stance on meat consumption- it's allowed.  Most meat was allowed irrespective of the reason behind the animal's killing, though animals generally considered to be dirty were often avoided.  Until the 19th century, Indian sages and Punjabi badasses alike reveled in their meat and ate the fuck out of it.  It wasn't until Hindu temples laid down the law around the country to line their own pockets that meat really began to be eschewed on a wider scale, but cattle are still regularly slaughtered and eaten in rural areas of Eastern India, and the Indian Physical Culture Encyclopedia espoused the consumption of meat as well, particularly in the fall, which falls in line with the Ayurvedic dietary recommendations (685).

Jumping forward to the modern era, pehlwans unfortunately aren't snacking on beef jerky all day as a fuck you to the assholes who want to keep them from eating delicious, delicious beef.  Instead, they eat a daily caloric catastrophe that makes sumo wrestlers look positively pro-ana by comparison.  The pehlwan's specialized diet is referred to as khurak, and consists primarily of ghee, milk, and almonds   They're not as concerned with what they eat, however, as how much of it they eat.  Not unlike the sumo of Japan, these motherfuckers put food away like their name was JM Blakely and they hated seeing abs more than a fat admirer at a BBW pickup bar.  Thus, they "drink buckets of milk, eat kilograms of almonds, and devour large quantities of ghi per day"(Alter).  Because they're constantly training, pehlwans attempt to eat the coolest, most sattva foods.  Though they don't always agree on what's most sattva, milk and ghee are considered to be paramount and are thus their two most important foods, and the foods around which they structure the rest of their diets.  According to Joseph Alter, many pehlwans still eat meat, however.
"While meat is regarded as rajas in nature, wrestlers who eat meat tend to rationalize this. They argue that one can eat meat and to some extent avoid the consequences. The trick is to neutralize the rajas nature of meat by some form of counteractivity. I was not able to determine what these counteractivities were. However, many wrestlers implied that meat would only aggravate one's passion if one were “naturally” predisposed towards excitability, anger, and hypertension. Thus anyone who ate meat could, and often did, argue that they were so sattva by nature that meat did not adversely affect them. Moreover, by virtue of their naturally aggressive “military” disposition, Rajputs are thought to thrive on meat (cf. Carstairs 1958; Minturn and Hitchcock 1966; Seesodia 1915; Steed 1955). Some Rajput wrestlers argue that meat is good for them because they should, in a sense, eat what they are"(Alter).
Even their goddamned statues drink milk.

I'm just going to go on record and state that I think the vast majority of this shit is fully insane- for me, this is an entirely intellectual exercise.  I'm sure there's something to be learned here, though, so it bears investigation.  That investigation does not include ghee, however, as I fucking despise its taste and smell almost as much as yak butter, which smells like a sweaty old man's balls.  It's fucking horrible.  If smegma and dogshit fucked, their unholy spawn would smell like a mild peppermint candy scented candle compared to burning yak butter, and ghee doesn't smell much better than yak butter.  Additionally, both of those horrid substances have scents that cling to your clothes through multiple washes, not unlike Animal Pak vitamins.  Leave an Animal Pak in your pocket for a day and see how long it takes to get the smell out- this shit is the same way.

A flamethrower is about the only solution to the Animal Pak problem.

Before you start googling, here's the nutritional breakdown on ghee- it's comprised entirely of fat, and the majority of that is saturated.  Ghee has 5 grams of fat per teaspoon, which will be an important metric when you see how much of it these maniacs consume daily.  According to Indians, ghee is "good for nearly everything" and "serves as a perfect, natural health tonic"(Alter). They have a variety of ways to get what amounts to liquified fat into their systems, and surprisingly none of them involve a caulking gun and an open wound.  Among the preferred ways to get ghee into your diet, here are the highlights:

  1. After exercise, place as much ghi as you are accustomed to drinking in a pan. Cover this pan with a fine cloth and sprinkle ground-sugar candy on it. Then take some milk and pour it through the cloth into the pan with the ghi. Drink this mixture.  There are a number of variations on this basic prescription. All entail the use of various specific, medicinal, tonic digestive powders referred to generically as churan. In all such prescriptions, churan, ground pepper, milk, ghi, and honey are mixed together in various proportions. Milk is always the final ingredient and is mixed in with the other items (Atreya 1984: 28).
  2. After exercise, take powdered black pepper and mix it in with as much ghi as you are accustomed to drinking. Heat the ghi to a point where it is compatible with your strength (the “heat” referred to here is not only the temperature of the ghi but its latent energy as well). Drink the ghi in its melted form.
  3. In its melted form ghi is also consumed with food. It may be drunk before the regular meal or mixed in with lentils and vegetables or poured on bread and rice.
  4. One of the best ways to take ghi in your diet is to mix it with dried, powdered nuts and grains. Basically anything which is dry in nature—dry in the sense of being non-unctuous—can be mixed with ghi in this way. Take whatever it is that you wish to mix—almonds, chana, (p. 122 ) dried peas, pistachios—and grind them into a fine powder. Put this powder into an iron skillet and brown it over a fire.  Add some water and continue cooking the mixture until about 150 grams of water remains. Take the iron skillet off the fire and heat up as much ghi as you are accustomed to drinking. Once this is hot, remove it from the fire, take the powdered mixture and add it to the ghi so that it is lightly and quickly browned. Drink/eat this mixture after you have finished your exercise regimen.
  5. In the evening, take your usual quantity of milk and warm it.  Add to this as much ghi as you are accustomed to drinking. Allow this mixture to form into yogurt through the addition of the correct culture. Drink this yogurt after your morning exercises. Be sure not to add any water.
  6. Grind almonds and black pepper together with some water. Heat up as much ghi as you wish to drink and then add the almond paste to the ghi. Add some sugar and drink this mixture.
  7. Mix together equal parts ghi, gur (hard molasses), and besan (chickpea) flour. Eat this mixture as a snack after exercise.
  8. Mix as much ghi as you wish to drink with as much warm milk as you are able to drink. Consume this after exercise. This is different from the other prescriptions in that no digestive tonics are mixed with the milk and ghi (Alter).

Unsurprisingly fat man who eats almost nothing but fat and sugar.

My abject hatred of ghee aside, there appears to be a little method to this madness.  Ghee's rendered butter, which means it's almost entirely saturated fat.  As such, it's incredibly anabolic.  The pehlwans seem to like to add both high-glycemic carbs and protein to ghee post workout, making what would probably be the world's most disgusting but reasonably nutritious post-workout shake.  Perhaps a bit more reasonable are their post-workout milk drinking habits.  Depending on the wrestler, they consume milk either raw or boiled, and then alter it for fat content to suit their needs.  Based on their digestive abilities, wrestlers seem to either go high-carb/low fat, or moderate carb/stupidly high fat.  For the former, they add sugar or molasses to low fat milk, and in the latter they add fruit and yogurt to full-fat milk to make a high-fat milkshake called lassi (Alter).
There is no reason to include this pic other than its existence.

While they have a bit of nutritional logic on their side for the inclusion of ghee in their diets, the volume thereof is another matter entirely.  these motherfuckers drink liquid butter in amounts that make me ill thinking about it, and i just finished eating four pounds of beef ribs.  According (again) to Joseph Alter,
"Wrestlers tend to increase the volume of consumption in proportion to the number of exercises they do in their vyayam (p. 126 ) regimen. There is no simple equation for this but wrestlers who do 1,500 dands and 3,000 bethaks consume about half a liter of ghi and two liters of milk per day. Since the amount of milk, ghi, and almonds one can eat is a direct reflection of one's strength, wrestlers tend to eat increasingly larger quantities of these items. In many respects being able to eat and digest half a liter of ghi per day is regarded as a kind of exercise in its own right. One must work up to this volume gradually. It is said that Sadhiki Pahalwan, a great wrestler of the late nineteenth century, consumed a canister (five kilograms) of ghi per day."
FIVE FUCKING KILOGRAMS A DAY.  Let's do the math, kids.

5 Kg = 5000g
5000 g ghee = 4995 g fat
4995 g fat = 44955 kcal from fat

That is, of course, impossible for a human being to consume or digest, but even if it was a tenth of that, it'd be a hell of a lot of fat.  No matter what kind of silly-assed Herschell Walker workout nonsense you're doing, that's a ridiculous amount of fat, and an astonishing amount of calories for a single food source... a food source that is a fucking condiment.  Even the half a liter a day number is ridiculous, however- a half liter of ghee a day yields 499.5 calories of fat, which is 4495 calories from fat.  That's a preposterous amount of fat for a person to consume in a day.

Grind them almonds!

As I mentioned, the third member of the pantheon of food that comprises the pehlwan's dietary abomination is almonds, which they believe improve their stamina and speed.  Almonds are crazy expensive, however, so chickpeas are often consumed as a substitute.  The almonds get mashed into a paste and then added to milk or ghee, whereas the chickpeas are left to sprout in water, then seasoned with salt, pepper, and lemon.  The water used in the sprouting process is then drunk to increase the pehwan's strength, apparently utilizing some metabolic pathway of which I am wholly unaware.  They appear to eat the fuck out of chickpeas, however, as they're the cheapest protein source available to the average Indian.

Beyond the aforementioned, pehlwans eat a variety of foods, ranging from in season fruits to green veggies to grains to meat.  All of those, however, are simply considered supplements to the aforementioned 4 foods.  There's actually more to the Indian dietary craziness, but it's too weird and too complex to go into right now- as a preview, it involves trying not to cum for as long as possible.  If you cannot figure out what that has to do with eating, we're in the same boat, but I'll make an attempt to explain it going forward.

Did You Know?
  • not all Indians are Hindu.  A mere 8 of 10 Indians are Hindu.  My failure to mention this makes me a bad person, apparently.  Although Indians invented Buddhism, no one in India appears to give a shit, since they're less than a percent of the population.  Muslims and Christians make up the majority of the remainder, and are not vegetarian.  Well, not as a general rule.  Some of them might be.  We can only hope they're not.
  • it is not nice to make fun of ascetics, no matter how much they beg you to with their existence.  
  • although I mentioned that certain regions of India eat meat, some of you missed that part.  Vegetarianism is widespread in India, especially in major population centers, but is not universal.
  • chickpeas are also called garbanzo beans, and might be magical.   To get 150g of protein from them, you need only eat 10 cups of them, or a bit over a kilo and a half of them (about 3.6 lbs)
  • although I mentioned it's difficult to cover all of India given it's wacky diversity, I am a bad person for failing to mention every specific subset of Indian culture, am extraordinarily mean, and might be a communist.  Oh, and I know nothing about India.
That's about the only way my diet's going to include much milk.


Alter, Joseph.  The Wrestler's Body: Identity and Ideology in North India.  California Scholarship Online.  12 May 1992.

Jha, D.N.  Holy Cow:  Beef In Indian Dietary Traditions.  New Delhi: Matrix Books, 2001.
Mujumdar, DC (ed.).  Encyclopedia of Indian Physical Culture.  1950.


  1. I drink at least two litres of milk most days. It's just because I like milk though and I always have. I've got one of those stomachs though that the kids on the Internet call "GH gut" despite having never used GH or steroids or any other substance they insist causes this. I've always just assumed my distended abdomen is because of all the milk I drink. My abs are visible anyway and when I flex them my stomach looks like any bodybuilder's. It's when I let them hang loose they look like a beer gut.

  2. How did 5kg of ghee manage to contain 5.3kg of fat?

    1. In retrospect, I made that conversion ridiculously complicated for no reason. Good point. Clearly, research, not math, is my strong suit.

  3. Informative post man. Crazy fucking bananas that diet is nuts though.

  4. Also, a little off topic but i'm not sure this has ever been covered or discussed. I'd like to know what Paul's and your thoughts are on: http://www.hypertrophy-specific.com/hst_index.html.


  5. You really good at math thing. 5kg ghee = 5.3kg fat

    1. It's not going to be precise- you're converting volume to mass.

    2. 5kg Ghee, depending on the brand you buy will yield approx:
      4794g of fat, 3096.2g of that fat is saturated.
      12.8g of cholesterol
      14g of protein

      obviously the profile will be different for grass fed

    3. I fixed it. That was the very last thing I threw into that blog and clearly was not on top of my game, haha.

  6. Replies
    1. hahaha I see.

      Do you have any knowledge on how much soy you have to consume for estrogenic effects? Maybe some studies.

    2. I've posted all of my research on the subject. Google chaosandpain.blogspot.com and soy

  7. Could you beat an Indian wrestler, I reckon they'll oil you up and fuck you. LOL.

    1. Lol. I've only tried Mongolian wrestling. The Turkish/Iranian/Indian style seems pretty far outside my wheelhouse for wrestling.

  8. I've never come across any old-time lifters getting training injuries,do you think they were'nt recorded or that they didnt get any?

    also have you thought about anymore guests on chaos and bang? maybe Ross enamait or Glen.

    1. I doubt the old timers got injured as much. They didn't do a lot of limit lifting and were better conditioned.

      Glenn's going to be on soon.

    2. Oh, that's going to be INTERESTING!

  9. Do you think if someone invaded America and completely took over the country it would stop you from being "hard as nails"? I hope not, all the real men would still be real men. If us British people can turn Indians into pussy's so easily then they weren't far away from being pussy's in the first place.

    1. You're saying the poledancing bodybuilders might be kind-of gay?

    2. @Cody- Consider this- if you were a 9 year old kid, but the baddest nine year old on the block, and then a grown man came and held your head under water every day for a year, you'd be pretty pissed. Then, when you finally got the balls up to fight, he patted you on the head and let you go, only after stealing your wallet and draining your college tuition fund, you'd be mentally and financially fucked for a long time. That's what the Brits did to the Indians.

  10. So the aim of the wrestlers is to look like Gama or the fat guy from Fist of the North Star, but this seems in contrast with the exagerated definition of Hanuman?

    1. Hanuman's worshiped by bodybuilders and wrestlers alike.

  11. You have probably written about this before however I'm on a horrible phone so searching is a difficult feat, here's the DIET related question:

    what's your take on this:

    As far as cutting carbs goes, and upping fat intake in order to drop body fat, will the increase in denser calories cause a WEIGHT gain whilst dropping body fat simultaneously or will the over all calorie intake cause weight AND fat gain?

    The reason I ask is because I've cut carbs and increased cardio , but I notice weight gain as far as the SCALE goes, should the scale be ignored?

    1. The scale should be ignored. It'd be very difficult to get fat on a ketogenic diet.

    2. I second this.
      I´m running a rogue version of APD that works for me (kind of a merge between APD and Carb Nite) and I´ve been experimenting with it.
      At first I dropped some weight, but as my training frequency/volume increased, I found myself getting hungrier. So I started to eat more meat and rampage harder. I stopped losing weight, but my lifts are better again, I´m getting bigger, more vascular and overall feel a lot better.

      Ignore the scale, lift heavy, eat meat, fuck hard.

  12. I do have to ask what kind of ghee it is you're talking about. I've bought ghee at ethnic grocery stores, and you're right, it is kinda disgusting. The larger jars of it also usually have a layer of liquid oil that's separated out from the solids, leading me to believe that it's heavily adulterated with cheap, rancid vegetable oils despite being labeled as pure butterfat.

    I've also bought expensive grassfed ghee at the health food store and found it to be very mild and honestly tasty, and ghee I've made at home from cheap butter turned out the same way. The label on this notes that they take care to use a lower-temp process for better flavor.

    So my suspicions are that modern indian ghee is nasty because it's either 1) adulterated with rancid oils or 2) mass produced at a temperature that's MUCH too high, or maybe even with solvents or something.

    That said, it doesn't have to be that bad, and made traditionally it probably wasn't.

    1. Fuck if I know- whatever kind my former Indian roommate used to make food.

    2. Probably cheap rancid stuff then. I read a bit further and supposedly it can go rancid easily if there's moisture exposure or UV exposure, and most of what's exported from india is probably bad before it hits the shelf. Fresh or well kept ghee is nice, though. I like liver and fish, though, so your tastes may differ.

  13. The hell is with the "did you know" stuff? I'm Indo-aryan and I wasn't offended the least bit by any of this. I wouldn't be surprised if you received backlash from indians however as they have the highest amount of whiny insecure faggatrons per capita.

    Erik you can make it yourself too.

    The only difference in making both clarified butter and ghee, is the length of the cooking time. The additional Ghee directions are in blue print below.

    "Place one (1) pound of unsalted butter in your pan. Over low heat, melt the butter. When the butter has completely melted, continue to heat it over low heat.

    When the melted butter starts boiling, it will begin to foam and sputter a lot at first as the water boils off. Continue boiling the butter, uncovered.

    As the butter melts, it will slowly separate into three (3) layers:

    The top layer is a thin layer of foam (this is the butter's water content boiling off.

    The middle layer contains the liquid.

    The bottom layer is where most of the milk solids are.

    Slowly the liquid on top becomes more and more transparent. When the clarified butter has a golden transparent color, there is very little foam left on the surface, and the solids have settled on the bottom, the clarified butter is ready. The cooking time is approximately 30 minutes, depending on the heat source and the kind of pot that you use.

    Remove from heat immediately as it can burn easily at this point.

    Ghee: Continue to slowly cook over low heat, watching carefully and stirring occasionally, until solids on the bottom of the pan turn light brown and the liquid deepens to golden and turns translucent and fragrant. Also a rich aroma ( aroma smells like popcorn) arises in the air. Immediately remove from the heat. Important - If you leave it on the heat too long, you will burn the residue and all of the ghee will have a burnt taste.

    Ways to remove the foam and solids:

    Skim off the foam after removing from heat. Let the butter cool awhile to let more of the solids settle, and then pour or spoon out the clarified butter, leaving the remain milk solids in the pan.

    Pour the hot melted cutter through cheesecloth, fine-mesh skimmer, or tea strainer to filter out the foam and solids that have settled, letting the clarified butter flow into a jar.

    Pour the hot melted butter into a container and allow it to separate on its own while cooling, and then refrigerate. After it has solidified, you can easily scrape off the hardened foam on top.

    Use a gravy or fat separator to make the skimming easier.

    Strain the melted butter through a typical coffee filter."

    stuff is nasty though.

    1. There was a great deal of hullaballoo about the fact taht I referred to the "monks" as shiftless, dirty hobos.

    2. well I can safely say they are dirty money grubbing shit smelling hypocritical good for naught freeloading guilt tripping fuck faces who can burn in a wastebin full of rejected hotdog grade beef.

  14. Having come back from a trip to rural India this past week, I can tell you their raw milk and its derivatives are top quality. Our neighbor supplied us with raw milk daily. She would feed her cow grass, hay, and vegetables.

    The milk had a thicker more rich texture and didn't leave your mouth rancid like milk here in the US. It wasn't refrigerated either. You either used it the day it was milked from the cow or you boiled it to extend its shelf life for an extra day.

    I'd presume this kind of milk would yield a much more palatable ghee.

    1. I have a sense that Indians use milk the way Greeks did Windex in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding".

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