John Carmack: 1 pizza, 9 diet cokes every day | Note: Lex Fridman Podcast

Really enjoyed this rundown of John Carmack’s diet (from this Lex Fridman interview) during the id Software glory days:

  • 1 pizza every day: He wouldn’t eat this all in one sitting. He’d have a few slices when it arrived then a few slices here and there throughout the day and into the night.
  • 8-9 Diet Cokes every day: He gets that steady drip of caffeine throughout the day. Quick search: 34 mg of caffeine in a normal can of Coke and 48 mg of caffeine in a normal can of Diet Coke. The more modern Coke Zero is… the same as normal Coke at 34 mg. Which makes me think twice about drinking the insane 180-200 mg in an equivalent 12 oz. of La Colombe jugs of coffee. (P.S. he says he basically still keeps this 8-9 can habit.)

I did a search in Masters of Doom for “pizza”, here’s a sample:

Their first checks aren’t beer money, they’re pizza money. He eats pizza on hotel retreats. The id Software team orders pizza even if they’re grilling.

Bill Gates has his “Think Weeks”. Carmack has something similar but with much more pizza…

“Now Carmack had vanished for real—sequestering himself in this faraway hotel room for a week. Pizza boxes littered the floor. The phone didn’t ring. The door didn’t open. The only distraction was when his throat dried out so much that he had to venture outside for another Diet Coke.” — Masters of Doom by David Kushner

… and Diet Coke, of course.