Peyton Manning is one of the best quarterbacks in professional football history, because he consistently prepares to be the best. Manning is a great athlete with an advanced knowledge of the game, but what makes him truly special is his laser-like focus.
Even after missing the entire 2011 season with a severe neck injury, Manning is the NFL’s active leader in career passing with over 56,000 yards, and he’s the first player in league history to win the MVP award four times. He bounced back for the Broncos this season without missing a beat.
His dedication to his craft is obvious. Manning’s preparation and consistency apply to his nutrition habits as well as to his physical training. He always eats the same pregame meal, no matter what time the game starts. It’s always “two pieces of grilled chicken, a bowl of pasta with marinara sauce, a plain baked potato with a side of broccoli and a couple of Gatorades.”
Carbohydrates (in the pasta and potatoes) are an athlete’s primary energy source for fueling performance. According to Gatorade Sport Science Institute scientist Lindsay Baker, “[They] provide energy to help fuel your body so you can go hard longer without hitting the wall.”
His carb-heavy meal three to four hours before taking the fi eld gives Manning the sustained energy he needs for four quarters of play—and OT if need be. GSSI scientist Kim Stein adds, “This [meal] should contain between 200 and 300 grams of carbohydrate. You need to make sure you have enough glucose available to your muscles and brain to be used as energy.”
Manning knows the value of fueling properly before games. Try eating his pregame meal before your next contest and reach your own potential on the field.