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The eating habits of tech executives: From Mark Zuckerberg’s ‘kill what you eat’ routine to Elon Musk’s Diet Coke obsession

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Musk + DonutElon Musk loves donuts. The Twitter CEO recently tweeted that he eats a donut every morning.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff/ Brian Hagiwara/Getty Images/ Trisha Gopal/Insider

  • A number of tech billionaires have disclosed their eating habits, which are at times outrageous and unhealthy.
  • Most recently, Elon Musk said he eats a donut every morning.
  • Here are the diets of some of the richest people in the tech world.
Some of the richest people in tech have some pretty bizarre eating habits.Elon Musk greets onlookers with both hands waving, at the 2022 Met GalaElon Musk

Gilbert Carrasquillo/GC Images

Just because billionaires have the money to pay for pricey personal chefs or high-end healthy foods doesn’t mean they’re adhering to diets that are good for them.

While some experiment with the latest health fads —like the Paleo diet and veganism — there are other tech billionaires who enjoy eating chocolate for breakfast or skip eating altogether for days at a time.

So when it comes to wealth, you may want to follow the lead of these techies, but think twice when it comes to health.


Richard Branson, the founder of Virgin Group, estimates he drinks 20 cups of tea a day.Richard Branson

Hollis Johnson/Business Insider

“I’m not sure how I’d survive without English Breakfast tea,” he told the Daily Mail in 2016.

Source: Daily Mail

Branson starts his day with fruit salad and muesli for breakfast.richard branson

Eric Cabanis/AFP/Getty Images

On occasional, the billionaire will eat kipper, a herring-like fish, instead.

Source: Business Insider

Branson lives on his private Caribbean island, Necker Island.richard branson dinnerRichard Branson, left, eating dinner with others on Necker Island.

Virgin Unite

The billionaire fills his days with exercise, time with his family, and business meetings, which he prefers to schedule “over lunchtime” to help “lighten the mood,” he said in a blog post on Virgin’s website in 2017.

For dinner, he’s said he prefers to hold group meals “where stories are shared and ideas are born.” Branson said he goes to bed around 11 p.m. and gets about six hours of sleep each night.

Source: Virgin Group

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has said he likes to take his time in the mornings and eat a healthy breakfast.jeff bezos

Lia Toby/Getty Images

Earlier this year, Bezos’ girlfriend, Lauren Sanchez, said that Bezos makes pancakes every Sunday morning.

“He gets the Betty Crocker cookbook out every time, and I’m like, ‘OK, you’re the smartest man in the world; why don’t you have this memorized yet?'” Sanchez told The Wall Street Journal.

The former news anchor told the Journal that Bezos is also “extremely dedicated to his workouts” with his personal trainer Wes Okerson.

Sources: Business Insider, The Wall Street Journal



When he’s not having his Sunday pancakes, his breakfast choices can get eccentric.BezosOctopus4x3

REUTERS/Kim White; Pixabay; Harrison Jacobs/Business Insider

In a 2014 meeting with a small e-commerce company that Amazon eventually acquired, Bezos ordered a breakfast of Mediterranean octopus with potatoes, bacon, green garlic yogurt, and a poached egg, according to a report from D Magazine.

“You’re the octopus that I’m having for breakfast,” Bezos reportedly said. “When I look at the menu, you’re the thing I don’t understand, the thing I’ve never had. I must have the breakfast octopus.”

Sources: Business Insider, D Magazine

Investor Mark Cuban said in 2014 that his breakfast consists of a cup of coffee and two cookies from a company called Alyssa’s Cookies.Mark CubanMark Cuban.

Michael Cohen/Getty Images for The New York Times

The cookies are high in protein and fiber, and low in carbs, according to the company’s website.

Cuban invested in the company in 2012 after its cofounder sent him a sample box of the cookies with a letter asking him to invest $50,000 in the company for a 25% stake, CNBC reported.

“I don’t just eat them, I live on them,” Cuban says on his company website. “It is not an exaggeration to say there are days when I have had them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.”

His favorite type of cookie is the Healthy Oatmeal Bite, according to the company.

Sources: D Magazine, CNBC, Mark Cuban Companies, Alyssa’s Cookies

Cuban has said his “ultimate meal” is a McDonald’s salad with some additions.mark cuban

John Lamparski/Getty Images

The “Shark Tank” investor told Men’s Journal in 2017 that he buys two salads from McDonald’s, puts them in one big bowl, and adds “corn, cottage cheese, relish, and for croutons, some crunchy cereal.”

Sources: Insider, Men’s Journal

In 2019, Cuban disclosed that he was a vegetarian.Mark Cuban and Barbara Corcoran on Shark Tank

Christopher Willard/Getty

Cuban revealed that he had given up meat during a “Shark Tank” episode in which he invested $250,000 in a plant-based meat company.

“I’ll be on the front page of it. I’ll be the poster-child for it. We’ll hustle. I don’t mess around,” Cuban said.

Source: CNBC


Microsoft founder Bill Gates has said that he loves Diet Coke so much that he drinks three or four a day.Bill Gates

Gates Foundation

“All those cans also add up to something like 35 pounds of aluminum a year,” Gates wrote in 2014.

Earlier this year, Michelin star chef Jordi Cruz said that Gates once reserved his entire restaurant for two days and only ordered a Diet Coke.

Sources: Quartz, Newsweek

Gates’ eating habits aren’t much better than other billionaires.Photograph of Bill Gates wearing a bow-tie and suit whilst smilingBill Gates penned a 7-page letter on the future of AI.

Taylor Hill/Getty Images

He’s said he eats Cocoa Puffs for breakfast. Though his ex-wife Melinda Gates has said in the past that he skips the meal altogether.

He also apparently loves cheeseburgers. In a Reddit AMA from 2016, Gates responded “Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger, Cheeseburger” when he was asked about his favorite sandwich.

In the Netflix series “Inside Bill’s Brain,” Gates talked about his fondness for the powdered beverage, Tang. 

“I would buy a bottle of Tang, which is an orange sugary drink [mix] that they took to the moon that you know, instead of going to meals, I would just pour orange Tang on my hand and lick it off my hand as I was working on things,” Gates said in the documentary, according to a report from CNBC.

Sources: Insider, Reddit, CNBC


Steve Jobs was known for his idiosyncratic eating habits.Steve Jobs

Jeff Chiu/AP

The Apple cofounder would sometimes eat only one or two foods at a time, for weeks, according to Walter Isaacson’s biography.

At one point, his diet was strictly carrots and apples. At another time, he was a “fruitarian” and would only eat fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains, the book said.

Jobs told Isaacson he “swore off meat” when he was a freshman at Reed College, and he later gave up grains and milk.

Sources: InsiderSteve Jobs

Jobs apparently thought that his vegan diet caused him not to emit any sort of body odor.steve jobs apple

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

The Apple cofounder believed that as a result he didn’t need to wear deodorant or shower regularly, Isaacson’s book said.

Sometimes Jobs would fast for several days at a time, which he said would create feelings of euphoria, per the biography.

In 2003, when Jobs was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer, he tried to heal himself through his diet, eating a lot of juiced fruit and carrots.

Five years later, he reintroduced fish and other proteins back into his diet after part of his pancreas was removed. But by the time of his death in 2011, the Apple cofounder was on a mostly liquid diet. 

Source: Insider, Steve Jobs

Tesla CEO Elon Musk doesn’t have the healthiest diet.elon musk mars

Tech Insider/Recode/NASA

“If there was a way that I could not eat so I could work more, I would not eat,” Musk said in Ashlee Vance’s biography “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future.”

Musk used to skip breakfast — or eat a Mars bar or donut to start his day.

“I’m trying to cut down on sweet stuff, and I should have an omelet and coffee,” Musk said in 2017, according to Entrepreneur.

But he hasn’t appeared to curb the habit much. The billionaire said on Twitter last month that he eats a donut every morning. 

“I’d rather eat tasty food and live a shorter life,” Musk told Joe Rogan in 2020.

Source: Entrepreneur, The Joe Rogan Experience, “Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future”

Lunch is just as inconsequential a meal as breakfast is for Musk.elon musk big bang theoryElon Musk on an episode of the Big Bang Theory in 2015.

Monty Brinton/CBS via Getty Images

The billionaire said whatever his assistant brings him during meetings, he’ll “inhale it in five minutes.”

Instead, Musk focuses on dinner, which often take place over business. Musk said in a 2015 Reddit AMA that his favorite cuisines are French and barbecue. 

Sources: Entrepreneur, CBS News


Like Gates, Musk also appears to be a fan of Diet Coke.elon musk bedside table tweet


Last year, Musk posted a photo on Twitter of what he claims to be his bedside table. The picture included four cans of caffeine-free Diet Coke.

Musk has expressed his love for the beverage several times over the years. 

In 2007, Inc. said in a profile of Musk that he was drinking eight cans a day at one point.

“I got so freaking jacked that I seriously started to feel like I was losing my peripheral vision,” Musk said, though he added that the the electric-car maker has since begun offering caffeine-free Diet Coke at its offices.

In 2022, he tweeted that he doesn’t care if Diet Coke “lowers my life expectancy.”

Sources: Insider, Inc, Twitter

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has experimented with different types of diets.Mark ZuckerbergMark Zuckerberg.

Mark Zuckerberg

In 2011, he set a “personal challenge” for himself to only eat meat from animals he had killed.

He announced the goal in a Facebook post, according to Fortune. His “kill what you eat” diet included goats, pigs, chickens, and lobsters.

Sources: Business Insider, Fortune

Zuckerberg wasn’t shy about sharing the food he had killed with friends and house guests.Mark Zuckerberg Jack Dorsey

Steve Jennings/Getty Images for TechCrunch; REUTERS/Lucas Jackson

He once hosted Twitter cofounder Jack Dorsey and treated him to goat he had killed, Dorsey told Rolling Stone. Dorsey said he remembers that the goat was served cold, so he stuck to salad for dinner.

Sources: Business Insider, Rolling Stone

But it’s not as if Dorsey is known for standard eating practices.jack dorseyIn this Thursday, Nov. 19, 2015, file photo, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey is interviewed on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange.

Richard Drew/AP

In 2012, the Twitter CEO revealed his daily breakfast at the time was two hard-boiled eggs with soy sauce.

Source: Forbes

Dorsey has also dabbled in mainstream diet fads.jack dorsey dinnerJack Dorsey at a dinner with former former French President Francois Hollande and other businessmen.

Alain Jocard/AFP/Getty Images

He used to be a vegan, but too much beta-carotene (the orange pigment found in carrots) caused his skin to turn orange. So by 2013, he’d switched to the Paleo diet, the hunter-gathering regimen that forbids eating refined sugars, grains, and processed foods.

Source: Business Insider

Dorsey has also talked about fasting.Jack DorseyJack Dorsey, founder of Square and Twitter, speaks on stage during day one of TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2012 event at the San Francisco Design Center Concourse in San Francisco, California September 10, 2012.

REUTERS/Stephen Lam

In 2019, Dorsey said he only eats one meal a day — dinner — during the work week, then fasts the entire weekend, following a diet trend popular in Silicon Valley at the time called “intermittent fasting.”

The Twitter cofounder said it helps him focus.

By 2020, though, Dorsey said he was eating seven meals a week — just dinner.

Sources: Twitter, Insider, CNBC

“The first time I did it, like day three, I felt like I was hallucinating,” Dorsey said.Jack DorseyTwitter CEO Jack Dorsey.


“It was a weird state to be in. But as I did it the next two times, it just became so apparent to me how much of our days are centered around meals and how — the experience I had was when I was fasting for much longer, how time really slowed down,” he said on a 2019 episode of the podcast “Ben Greenfield Life.”

Source: CNBC

Like Dorsey, biotech entrepreneur Bryan Johnson, has a fastidious health regimen.Bryan JohnsonBryan Johnson, a 45-year-old biotech founder, hopes to rewind the clock of his body a few decades through a program he started, called Project Blueprint.

Courtesy Dustin Giallanza

Johnson, the founder of Kernel, hopes to rewind the clock of his body a few decades through a program he started called Project Blueprint.

Source: Insider

Johnson takes two dozen medicines and supplements in the morning, and maintains a vegan diet of soft and solid foods. He restricts his daily intake to 1,977 calories a day.Bryan Johnson holds a bottle of metformin.Bryan Johnson holds a bottle of metformin.


Johnson also drinks a smoothie as soon as he wakes up called “the green giant,” which includes compounds like spermidine, creatine, collagen peptides, and cocoa flavanols.

Source: Insider

OpenAI’s Sam Altman has been a vegetarian since he was a child, he said in a 2018 blog post.OpenAI's Sam Altman

JASON REDMOND/AFP via Getty Images

 In the post, he also noted that he takes methyl B-12, Omega-3, Iron, and Vitamin D-3 as supplements.

Recently, Altman said he also takes to diabetes drug metformin, which has become popular with biohackers as a way to slow aging.

Source: Sam Altman’s blog, Insider

Back in 2015, Warren Buffett reportedly told Fortune he was “one-quarter Coca-Cola,” adding that he drinks five 12-oz servings a day.Warren BuffetWarren Buffet

Scott Morgan/Reuters

While he usually consumes his first can with “potato stix” he sometimes switches it up with ice cream, Fortune said.

Buffet has jokingly said he eats “like a six-year-old” because actuarial tables say six-year-olds have the lowest death rate, Fortune noted. 

Bill Gates, a friend of Buffet’s, has observed that his fellow billionaire largely has a diet of McDonald’s hamburgers and Oreos, Fortune noted. 

Source: Fortune

Paige Leskin contributed previous reporting to this story.

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