A Sports Dietitian Revealed What NFL Players Really Eat Before A Super Bowl

It's been a long leadup to Super Bowl 2022, which takes place on February 13 (via NBC Sports). This year, it's happening a week later than usual, the result of a new 17-game schedule adopted by the NFL this season. That's given us time to think not just about the game itself, but also about the players and what it takes to turn ordinary people into athletic superhumans. 

While training and talent are certainly part of the equation, what we're really wondering about is what these elite athletes are using to fuel their efforts. And who better to take a deep dive into that than Leslie Bonci, a nutrition consultant with the Kansas City Chiefs who has also served as a sports dietitian for the Pittsburgh Steelers? 

Bonci spoke to CNN about this very topic, including what it is that NFL athletes really eat before a big game like the Super Bowl. Read on for the upshot, which you just might find a bit surprising. 

What do NFL players eat before the Super Bowl?

The first thing to understand about what NFL players really eat before a Super Bowl is that each player is an individual, which means that what works for one may not work so well for another. Nevertheless, Bonci has observed some definite patterns in what NFL players really eat days before a big game like the Super Bowl (via CNN). 

First and foremost, what they're really looking for is food that will "sit comfortably in the stomach when the stakes are high." For each player, that may mean something different, but a lot of the players Bonci has known seem to like PB&J. Some have it with milk, some don't. Eggs are also a popular choice, along with yogurt, smoothies, soups ("one-stop shopping," as Bonci puts it), veggie stir-fries, pastas, and oatmeal. Oatmeal in particular is "a real comforting one," Bonci noted. 

And one final tidbit that's definitely fun to know, if not a little surprising: chicken (as opposed to, say, steak) seems to be a top protein choice for NFL players before a Super Bowl.