If anyone is well-versed in eating for performance, it’s our Brand Ambassador, Russell Wilson. After all, you don’t become the 2012 Rookie of the Year, five-time Pro Bowl Quarterback, and Super Bowl Champion without consuming nutrient-dense, whole foods on a regular basis. Sure, the occasional slice of birthday cake is bound to happen; but being an elite athlete like him generally means eating meals that are carefully planned and calibrated by a performance team (including a personal chef). So, how exactly does someone as high-energy and driven as Russell Wilson tackle eating for performance? Keep reading to find out!
Currently age 30, Russell has publicly expressed interest in playing professional football until age 45—a feat accomplished by only a select few NFL players. However, his passion for food extends beyond powering himself with the nutrition necessary to achieve this lofty goal. When Russell’s father was only 55 years old, he passed away from complications with Type 2 Diabetes. Russell explained to us “I lost my dad to diabetes…I’m doing everything I possibly can to eat clean, and eat right…that way I can live long and play long.”
Unlike Type 1 Diabetes which is genetic, Type 2 Diabetes is associated with both genetic and lifestyle factors. Evidence shows that a balanced diet and regular exercise can make a profound difference in terms of Type 2 Diabetes prevention. Since his loss, Russell has set about promoting healthy eating and staying active in various ways. He spreads this message as our Performance Kitchen Brand Ambassador, and at his Passing Academy football camp for youth. During a recent conversation with Russell, he zeroed in on what drives him, saying “I want to live long for my kids. That’s what fires me up.”
“I lost my dad to diabetes…I’m doing everything I possibly can to eat clean, and eat right…that way I can live long and play long.”– Russell Wilson
Catering to Nutrition Needs of a Pro Athlete
We caught up with Andrea Witton who is Russell and the Wilson family’s private chef. Here’s what she says about catering to the nutrition needs of a top NFL athlete. “Russell’s a great eater, and anyone who knows him, knows that he loves all types of food,” she explained enthusiastically. In terms of her overall strategy, she elaborates “We try to keep really great, healthy sources of protein, and also high fat. We limit some of the carbs and sugar because it really won’t do anything beneficial for him.” When it comes to eating for recovery she notes “If you eat bad food, you’re going to feel bad. Your body is already beat up from a 3-hour-plus game, and you’re exhausted…the meal after, and the morning after are the most integral parts of his recovery process.”
Eating for Longevity, Performance, and Convenience
Even with his personal chef and performance team at the ready, Russell is still very tuned into eating for wellbeing. Go behind the scenes for his more in-depth take on eating for a long life, eating to perform (on and off the field) and managing to get his balanced nutrition on even the busiest day.
Watch the video
Wondering which Performance Kitchen meal Russell is eating in this video? It’s our Great Karma Coconut Curry. Try it for yourself, and let us know what you think.
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