We all know that breakfast is crucial, but for NFL players, the importance of morning grub is even more significant. Whether they’re prepping for a big game or exercising during the off season, what NFL players eat for breakfast sets the tone for athletic performance. Compared to the average person, the typical diet of a professional athlete is meant to do more than just nourish the body. Every single meal is chosen with the field in mind. They might as well be called professional eaters, too. (Wait, is that something I can sign up for?)
Unsurprisingly, breakfast isn’t the same for all NFL players. For some, like New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, food allergies and sensitivities call for a strict eating regime. Brees avoids gluten and dairy, but favors soy products and lean meats. He starts his day with two gluten-free waffles or pancakes paired with corn grits or potato hash browns, plus sausage or bacon. And since he loves fruit, he wraps up breakfast with a peach or pear.
New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady is also known for a stringent diet. According to his chef, Alan Campbell, the Brady family eats a plant-based diet free of caffeine, coffee, and fungus. His “Brady Cakes” are one of his favorite breakfasts, boasting ingredients like eggs, protein powder, and almond oil.
Other players, like New York Jets receiver Brandon Marshall, aim for more diverse foods. Marshalls starts his day with seven egg whites along with chicken sausage and Monterey cheese. He’ll also dine on an orange, two cups of blueberries, and a cup of cereal.
Defensive end for the Houston Texans, J.J. Watt, calls himself a “huge breakfast guy.” As part of his 5,000-calorie diet, he eats two breakfasts consisting of multiple fruits and wheat toast or oatmeal. Watts also loves making cottage cheese pancakes.
And then there are players who keep it simple. New York Giants running back Rashad Jennings doesn’t care about packing on the calories. Instead, he fuels up on a big breakfast protein shake, sometimes paired with egg whites and oatmeal.
And that’s just a few of NFL players. The wide range of choices further proves that there isn’t one way to do breakfast for professional athletes. After all, there’s a good chance that chowing down on a favorite breakfast feels just as good as the ultimate touchdown.