A Deeper Look Into the Vegan Diet in the NFL
I came across a really interesting article that takes a deeper look at the plant-based vegan diet in the NFL, a timely follow-up to Phil’s article earlier in the week. See an excerpt and link to the full article below.
In the past few years, teams have added salad bars, juicers, and plant-based superfoods like kale, quinoa, almond butter, and whole-wheat pasta to their cafeterias, alongside the bacon cheeseburgers and meatball subs. While this makes eating healthy easier at home, it’s still difficult on the road, where players spend half the season. Before travel days, Gonzalez and Owens plan ahead, asking for specific foods and packing vegan bars and powders. “It’s 365 days a year to be a pro football player,” says Sue A. James, a nutritionist for the Ravens who worked with Williams. “Whether they’re training or it’s the off-season, they know they have to take care of their bodies and their health. The career doesn’t last forever, and [eating right] is healthier over the long term.
A big reason for the hazing is that there’s a lot at stake when a player begins to tinker with his diet: his performance, and consequently, his entire team’s season. But NFL contracts say nothing about diet, and Gonzalez says he and other plant-fueled players are only acting responsibly. “I feel more of an obligation to eat this way because of the money they’ve invested in us. The evidence is there that this is healthy – I have more energy right through the fourth. It can be a matter of seconds if you catch the ball or miss it. The guy who’s eating the steak is sluggish in the fourth quarter. I want to be 100 percent. That’s what puts more money in your pocket.”