NFL Combine Trainer: Precision Nutrition Equals Maximum Performance

Think of your body as a high performance engine, and don't pump it full of regular gas. It needs high octane fuel to open up and perform at its peak - on and off the gridiron.

Pro athletes are a special breed, requiring more and better nutrients than mere mortals. They think of food as fuel, their ticket to training harder. The correct approach can increase performance, decrease recovery time and provide enough energy to power through workouts.

Football, specifically, is an anaerobic sport characterized by repeated bouts of explosive strength. Playing well requires higher amounts of protein to build and repair fast-twitch muscle fibers, as well as a constant supply of carbohydrates to refuel your body's glycogen stores. Essential vitamins, which can come from whole foods or supplementation, can help athletes heal properly.

NFL Combine Trainer: Nutrition - 6:07

Performance nutrition comprises three whole-foods meals and several snacks throughout the day. This includes pre- and post-workout shakes. Anaerobic athletes need as much as 1 to 2 grams of protein per day. Focus on food amounts but make sure it's quality! Select foods tampered with the least (as close to their natural state as possible). Avoid foods grown with hormones, chemicals, or anything foreign to your body. Favor organically grown fruits and vegetables as well as grass-fed meats.

Athletes need carbohydrates to fuel activity in the gym and on the field. Shoot for low-glycemic carbohydrates that provide fuel at a steady rate. Good choices include vegetables, legumes, whole grains and even potatoes.

Chicken: Eat it off the field, don't be one in the game.

Not Sure Where To Start?

Enter your information into the calculator below and you're ready to go! Macrountrients are given "per meal" based on 5 meals per day.

Enter Your Weight
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Total Calories

In addition to the whole food meals below, eat 2 to 3 snacks per day and consume 1 to 2 servings of whey protein, preferably with some carbohydrates mixed in before and after training. One serving of protein mixed in 2% organic milk before and after training totals 500 calories, 66 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrates. Don't forget to include this in your daily total!

Below are example meal plans following athletic performance nutrition principles. It's okay if your numbers don't fall squarely into this amount. Adjust the food quantity to fit your profile.

Meal Plans

Breakfast - Shake 1

Totals: 505 calories, 62 grams carbs, 35 grams protein, 11 grams fat

Breakfast - Shake 2

Totals: 712 calories, 84 grams carbs, 35 grams protein, 25 grams fat

Breakfast - Shake 3

Totals: 1010 calories, 123 grams carbs, 71 grams protein, 22 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Gain Option 1


Totals: 1022 calories, 110 grams carbs, 57 grams protein, 39 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Gain Option 2

Meatballs With Spices:

Combine ingredients and form into balls.

Totals: 1029 calories, 118 grams carbs, 63 grams protein, 32 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Gain Option 3


Totals: 985 calories, 118 grams carbs, 52 grams protein, 34 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Loss/Maintenance Option 1


Totals: 604 calories, 61 grams carbs, 51 grams protein, 18 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Loss/Maintenance Option 2

Totals: 622 calories, 55 grams carbs, 55 grams protein, 19 grams fat

Lunch/Dinner Weight Loss/Maintenance Option 3

Totals: 604 calories, 69 grams carbs, 39 grams protein, 19 grams fat

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