Larry Fitzgerald is a pass-catching machine.
His razor-sharp route-running and fly paper hands have helped him become one of the most productive receivers in NFL history. Since entering the league in 2004, Fitzgerald has never posted fewer than 780 yards or 58 receptions in a season. The 32-year-old receiver is coming off his best statistical season since 2011, as he posted 1,215 receiving yards and 9 touchdowns in 2015.
So, how has Fitz managed to stay so prolific at an age when many receivers see their numbers take a nosedive?
Diet has been essential to his success.
Early on in his career, Fitzgerald was what he calls a “necessity eater.”
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“Before I got into my groove, I was a necessity eater. You just kind of eat when it’s convenient and get something quick,” Fitzgerald says. That meant a lot of high-fat foods and sugary drinks. Now, he takes a more consistent, measured approach to nutrition. “Now I have a chef preparing my meals. I get balanced nutrition. You can stay on the diet you want because every meal is regulated. You know exactly what you’re getting. And if I’m going to be on the road or on the move, I pack snacks. Something like healthy nuts so I can make a good decision on the road instead of stopping for fast food.”
So, what kind of food is in Fitz’s fridge?
Two mainstays are lamb and salmon. Several years ago, Fitzgerald and a number of his Cardinals teammates (including Carson Palmer and Patrick Peterson) started regularly undergoing nutrition-focused blood analytics. A simple blood test can reveal what foods an individual digests efficiently and what foods cause problems inside the body. Fitzgerald’s results showed his body actually didn’t respond well to chicken, but responded exceptionally well to lamb.
“I know exactly what my body likes. A superfood for me is lamb. My body really, really responds well to lamb, as opposed to a lot of chicken. I don’t really eat chicken that often now,” Fitzgerald says. “I also found my body responds really well to salmon; it does better with darker fish instead of lighter fish. Now I know exactly what my superfoods are. It cuts down on inflammation. Inflammation is huge for athletes. If you can decrease the amount of inflammation in your body, it helps your recovery immensely. As an athlete, we get so banged up, you need your body’s responses to be right so you can recover and work at a high volume every single day.”
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Lamb doesn’t get enough love in the nutrition world. It’s a complete protein, meaning it contains all 8 essential amino acids. That makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking to build muscle. Lamb is also high in zinc, niacin, iron and vitamin B12; and it provides nearly five times the amount of essential omega-3 fatty acids as beef, meaning it’s a fantastic food for fighting inflammation.
Fitzgerald also makes sure to down a shake with EAS Recovery Protein Powder after every workout and practice. The high-quality protein in EAS products helps Fitzgerald bounce back quickly and attack his next session at full strength.