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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / 7 Foods NFL Players Eat to be In Their Best Condition

7 Foods NFL Players Eat to be In Their Best Condition

What do the pros eat?
Publish Date: 04/23/2020
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

While it may be what you commonly hear from other people, NFL players don’t eat raw fresh meat and drink a lot of protein shake just like the Vikings. That’s far from the truth, as there is a lot of science involved in an NFL player’s diet.

An NFL player’s diet consists of tons of calories. They typically consume 5,000 to 10,000 calories per day, especially during training camp. While this may be a lot, they burn at least 2,000 of these calories during their training sessions.

The food in their diet has a purpose in their overall well-being and their ability to do their best in the field. Here are some of the foods NFL players need to eat, especially before a big game.


A single egg contains 78 calories and 6 grams of protein. They also contain vitamins A and B that are necessary to enhance vision, immunity, and nerve response, which is essential to have during a match. However, you can’t just binge eat eggs since it contains a lot of cholesterol. Doctors recommend eating only three eggs per week to maximize the nutrition it provides.

NFL players eat eggs to maximize their muscle growth since American Football is a grueling sport that requires great muscle strength. Eggs also enhance a player’s vision, allowing him to see better what’s currently happening in the field.

To retain the vitamins and minerals it has when cooked, the best way to prepare an egg is to make it into an omelet. Crack 2-3 eggs in a bowl and add a tablespoon of milk. After that, add seasonings, cook in low heat, and put it on a plate afterward.


If you had watched Popeye when you were a kid, you could say that it somehow accurately depicts how spinach affects your body. While it does improve your overall performance in the field, it does not automatically make your muscles big like it was described in the cartoon.

Because it’s rich in iron, it has quite a few positive effects on your blood. Spinach can also enhance your overall vitality and energy recovery that is essential for recovering after playing a sport or any strenuous activity.

Not only that, but spinach also contains Vitamins A and K, which helps you deal with inflammation that usually occurs after a grueling match. It could also improve your bone health and reduce your fatigue. This is important since the NFL is very physical and will require you to exert as much pressure as you can on your body.

Chicken Breast

Chicken breast is a staple food for athletes looking for more muscle gains. It is packed with protein that is needed for muscle growth, easy to prepare, and can easily be found in supermarkets.

Most athletes typically cook them in bulk and divide it for different meals, which is useful for sticking to a diet plan. You can see most NFL players have chicken breasts as part of their diet since good muscle mass is required to be an excellent player in the field.

Greek Yogurt

One type of food that are good sources of protein are dairy products, especially yogurt. Recently, a lot of health nutritionists and athletes have been recommending yogurt as a go-to snack when looking for a healthy and delicious alternative to junk foods.

Greek yogurt takes it up a notch as it contains more protein and contains less sugar than regular yogurt. It can also be eaten in different ways, such as plain, with fruits and berries, or adding it to your protein formula. For a sport that requires muscle mass, NFL players need to be in tiptop shape, with a body that can perform what their team wants them to do.


Milk is one of the essential drinks NFL players consume as it is vital for their recovery. It contains a lot of protein and other minerals that are useful for bone strength and muscle recovery. It also contains calcium, which is good for the bones, especially the teeth. Milk can be a great addition to a protein shake since it has plenty of carbs, which is useful for storing energy.

Not only that, but milk also has other nutrients and minerals that can improve hydration levels. When taken regularly, your regeneration will improve, especially if you regularly train your body or exercise daily, which is true for all athletes, including NFL players.


If you don’t know it yet, fruits are an essential part of all athletes’ top diets. It provides hydration and also contains carbs, fiber, and potassium while containing zero fat. You can say that it is almost an all-in type of food.

To make it tastier while maximizing the vitamins and minerals you can get from it, you can turn it into a smoothie. This is optimal if you are regularly training under the heat of the sun, which NFL players do since they are likely to train inside a roofless stadium.

Heat is known to make you lose your appetite, thus lead to avoidance of large and hot meals. So instead of losing a large part of your diet, make a smoothie instead.

Coconut Water

Yes, coconut water is technically not food (so is milk, by the way), but it is still a good source of vitamins and minerals. One of the benefits of coconut water is giving you high levels of hydration, especially before and after your performance in the field.

Recently, coconut water is becoming the trend in health groups because of the nutrition you can get from it. Unlike regular liquids, coconut water can be easily absorbed by the body because of its high levels of hydration. Losing 2% of your body mass due to sweating usually leads to poor mental performance.

To combat this, drinking coconut water can alleviate your dehydration levels almost instantaneously. This is useful for all athletes, including NFL players, since they sweat profusely both during training and matches.


Eating a lot of meat to gain more protein is not the only way NFL players gain more muscle mass and improve their performance. The food that they eat has its significance in their health, and ultimately, their performance in the field.

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