We’ve all seen our favorite athletes drinking Gatorade or water during a game, but it’s always interesting to stop and think about what they’re eating on the sidelines, in the dugout and in the locker room when we’re not looking. Whether it’s to fuel performance for the second half, respect a superstition or just satisfy a bizarre craving, the pros are sneaking in mini-meals on regular basis. Here’s a rundown of what some of your favorite athletes grub on between the whistles.
Marshawn Lynch, Seattle Seahawks
Lynch has been chowing down on this rainbow-flavored snack since his Pop Warner days. “When Marshawn was 12 or 13, we’d go to his games and I’d always have little candies in my purse,” Lynch’s mother Delisa Lynch said in an interview with Seahawks.com. “Before the game, I would say, ‘Here Marshawn, come and get your power pellets.’ I would give him a handful of Skittles and say, ‘Eat ’em up, Baby. They’re going to make you run fast and they’re going to make you play good.’”
Joe Mauer, Minnesota Twins
Gatorade Nutrition Bar
Sunflower seeds and Big League Chew still have their place in the majors, but Mauer munches on something more substantial between innings. “We have Gatorade Nutrition Bars in [the dugout], and I’m usually having those bars around the fifth inning,” he says. “We usually eat [dinner] around 5:30 or 6 and we play at 7, and all of a sudden it’s about 8:30, and you haven’t had anything to eat for a little while, [so] you might have a little bar between the fifth and sixth inning.”
Paul George, Indiana Pacers
George keeps it simple when he heads to the locker room between halves, opting for a simple piece of fruit on the advice of his team nutritionist. “The players would eat their pre-game meal four hours before tipoff, then play the first half—that’s up to five hours without eating,” said Lindsay Langford, the Pacers’ team nutritionist. “Glycogen levels are definitely depleted at that point.”
Trent Richardson, Indianapolis Colts
PB & J Sandwich
Richardson ducks into the locker room at halftime to digest more than his coaches’ advice. He also munches on a simple peanut butter and jelly sandwich. “Since I play so hard, I’m always going to be a little empty,” Richardson told STACK last year. “I drink and eat to have the energy to finish the game strong.”
Landon Donovan, L.A. Galaxy/U.S. Men’s National Soccer Team
Bars and Sports Drinks
Donovan goes with a healthy pre-packaged snack at halftime. “I used to [eat] nothing and I would realize in the second half that I lost a lot of energy in the game,” Donovan says. “Only in the past couple years have I started eating. I usually eat the oatmeal raisin Gatorade bars at halftime, and then—I’m kind of boring—I always drink the lemon-lime Gatorade.”
Chris “Macca” McCormick, Ironman Champion
CLIF Energy Shots
Macca’s races can take eight hours or more, so proper nutrition is critical to his success. He routinely chows down on easily consumed energy gels. “I needed 400 calories per hour during the race, and how [I] usually take in those calories is through those CLIF Shots, so I’m taking three of those in per hour and an electrolyte drink,” McCormick told us in 2011.
Mark Sanchez, Philadelphia Eagles
Hot Dog. Really.
“The Sanchize” certainly had some memorable moments with the New York Jets—both highs (guiding the team to back-to-back AFC championship games) and lows (the infamous butt fumble). But no instance was more befuddling than the time he tried to sneak a hot dog in against the Oakland Raiders. Yes, the Jets were up big at that point, and yes, Sanchez was probably benched for the rest of the game; but we have to assume the Jets could have offered him a more nutritious snack. Hey, we never said all the athletes on this list would be fueling the right way.