Arian Foster might think his new vegan diet isn’t a big deal, but the Texans’ team dietician thinks he could be on a cusp of a new way of eating for NFL players.
By passing on meat and dairy, Foster’s having to adjust, and Roberta Anding, who works with the players on nutrition said he’ll be fine.
“Arian has been one of these guys I call a seeker, looking for optimum nutrition and variety,” Anding told Dale Robertson of the Houston Chronicle. “In my working with him, he has been open to a lot of strategies to get him where he needs to be, not only as a professional football player but, more importantly, as an adult man who has a child and a wife.
“That’s the new NFL player. I don’t think Arian is unique.”
At the moment, he’s the only one going to that length, and Anding said other players present different problems.
She’s trying to work with cornerback Johnathan Joseph, who said “I still haven’t had my first salad,” and keep other players mindful of moderation.
The attention to details is critical during training camp, when players are burning 5,000 calories or more per day. (And the Chronicle story includes a slide show of what that actually looks like.)
“There are guys on this team that, if you crunch the numbers, they would come out [needing] 5,000 calories a day,” Anding said. “But there are guys whose predicted need is 5,000, but I know enough about their diet that their intake needs to be closer to 7,000. What makes a professional athlete unique is the disproportionate amount of muscle mass they have.
“Muscle mass is the metabolic engine. The goal of a good strength and conditioning program is to take that metabolic engine from a Prius to an Escalade.”
And as long as Texans owner Bob McNair’s paying for Escalades, Anding is going to make sure to put premium in the tank.