Ray Lewis and the importance of diet in sports

Baltimore Ravens Ray Lewis. UPI/Kevin Dietsch

USA Today has a great profile of Ray Lewis leading up to this weekend’s playoff game. Lewis has had an incredible NFL career, and in this article we see why. He’s always been known as a workout warrior, but here we see how obsessive he is about his diet as well.

Stamped “P.M.,” the bag is filled with multicolored vitamin supplements. Before noon, the iconic Baltimore Ravens linebacker already had consumed a protein shake, egg whites, an apple, 2 gallons of water and a similar bag of “A.M.” supplements.

Lewis, 36, is explaining why he believes he has survived 16 NFL seasons — and still is playing at a Pro Bowl level as the Ravens prepare for Sunday’s AFC divisional playoff game against the Houston Texans— in such a physically demanding sport.

In addition to a relentless year-round conditioning regimen and aggressive therapy for the toe injury that sidelined him for four games this season, Lewis estimates he swallows 50 pills a day.

Then the veteran, hardly ready to declare this playoff run a prelude to retirement, reaches into the briefcase to show off his afternoon snack — another apple.

“I’m watching these guys, with their cheeseburgers and stuff,” he says. “And you’re going to compete against me? Even if you’re younger and faster, your fuel won’t let you beat me.”

His obsession for healthy eating is, well, notorious in the Ravens locker room.

“His diet is so ridiculous, even the people around him have to adjust,” linebacker Terrell Suggs says. “It’s crazy. Last week, I’m eating a bag of chips, and he throws ’em away.”

Lewis is a fish-and-vegetable man who hasn’t touched pork in 12 years and has eaten beef twice during that span. He also doesn’t drink soda or eat bread or sugar — except for scant exceptions. Like his cheat snacks, Twizzlers and Gummy Bears. “To keep living life,” he says.

I remember watching Chad Ochocinco several years ago describing how he ate mostly at McDonald’s. He was young and he could easily burn the fat and calories. Now he’d be wise to read this article and start emulating Lewis, as Chad isn’t the same player he was several years ago. Diet is a critical part of health and performance!

As we get older, we have to be more careful about what we eat. We don’t need to be obsessive like Ray Lewis since most of us aren’t pro athletes. But if you really was to get ripped, then you have to have the same devotion. Match your diet to your goals!

  

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