In these times of sports nutrition and diets worked out to the very last calorie you’d think that our sporting stars would be trained and prepped to perfection to let them operate like well-oiled victory machines.
You’d also think that all the pre-match high-calorie blowouts would be taking place in front of the screen as fans get in the mood to see their teams compete. But a quick trawl of sports interviews shows that even the biggest stars have a real weakness for the sorts of foods that shouldn’t play a part in any sportsperson’s diet.
Marshawn Lynch, Oakland Raiders
Lynch has a self-confessed weakness for Skittles, which first became public in 2011 when eagle-eyed spectators saw him pick up a handful and taste the rainbow after scoring a touchdown. Apparently, it was a habit he picked up from his earliest games when his mother would feed them to him to make him run faster and play well.
Adrian Peterson, Arizona Cardinals
Flying in the face of traditional thinking, Peterson believes that his high-calorie intake of ice cream and brownies help him to up his percentage of body fat which, in turn, prevents pulled muscles and other sporting injuries. However, it didn’t stop him having to undergo knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus in 2016.
Luke Kuechly, Carolina Panthers
When he decides to go for it, Luke doesn’t believe in half measures. His favourite treat is a dish that he calls Skyline Chilli and which includes noodles, chilli sauce, cheddar cheese, onions, and beans. Luke describes it as being “good for the soul” – if not all that terrific for the waistline.
Brian Wilson, San Francisco Giants
In his playing days, Brian Wilson used to start out with an 8-egg omelette for breakfast, admittedly using the whites only – but he also loaded it with peppers, grated cheese, ham, and turkey to make up the protein content. So, it’s no big surprise that he was getting through a gargantuan 60 eggs a week at the height of his career.
Travis Cloke, Collingwood
Aussie Rules footballers also like to take things to the limits in preparation for the 80 punishing minutes ahead of them and Travis Cloke is no exception. In his playing days, there was nothing he liked more than a big plate of fish and chips to get him in the mood, while Footy Finals Packs have become a bit of a local tradition for fans of the game. Cloke was the team’s leading goalkicker four years running between 2011 and 2014.
J.J. Redick, Philadelphia 76ers
The world of NBA isn’t without its quirky eaters either and J.J. Redick is a prime example. We don’t know if he sleeps late just before a game but he’s certainly told the world that he likes to have a bowl of Rice Krispies at about tip-off time.
Kobe Bryant, Los Angeles Lakers
You don’t get to be the youngest ever basketball player to score 30,000 career points without making a few sacrifices along the way. That meant putting aside those pepperoni pizzas, grape sodas, and sugar cookies to concentrate on a leaner, healthier diet – with obvious results for Kobe.
So if we’re going to conclude anything from this quick round-up it’s that, if you got the talent, you can probably take some liberties with your diet. But for any aspiring athletes out there it’s probably best to err on the side of caution – and definitely don’t turn up for your next team trial finishing off a fast food feast if you want to stand any chance at all of being picked!