Why You'll Probably See NFL Players Eating Orange Slices During The Super Bowl

For years, oranges have been a popular snack at football matches. They have been spotted during halftime, when players recharge and brace themselves for the rest of the game. As pointed out by SF Gate, oranges are convenient to eat, and the fact that they're full of carbs can help athletes feel a lot more energetic. Also, they're a great tool to fight dehydration and are a good source of Vitamin C, which is a huge plus.

A curious Redditor asked others whether it's common to spot players snacking on oranges during sports matches in their culture. Commentators from Canada, South Africa, Ireland, New Zealand, the U.K., and Australia confirmed that this remains commonplace during games. A Redditor from Canada said, "We do it for pretty much every sport that allows a break at half, but soccer is the one I remember eating the most orange slices...we had a parent on our team [who] would literally fu***** slice up hundreds of oranges before the games, what a trooper."

Well, don't be surprised if you see NFL players eating orange slices during the Super Bowl: According to a piece by The Athletic, NFL teams are "mandated" to arrange for approximately three dozen oranges (that must be sliced) for the visiting team.

They're an important part of the sport

Per Sportscasting, the sight of athletes snacking on oranges during a break at football matches is much better than watching them smoke cigarettes (which was relatively common many years ago). What makes oranges especially appealing is the fact that they can quickly rehydrate and energize players. It's also heartwarming that the fruit is considered to be "a staple at all levels of football."

According to sports nutritionist Leslie Bonci, athletes are also known to rely on a classic snack such as peanut butter and jelly sandwiches or simple smoothies before a match. She explained, "A lot of the guys love PB&J. That's a comfortable food for them." She also noted that matches can be stressful events and can ruin a player's appetite, but it's crucial to fuel up and stay on track. 

Bonci added, "...There's a lot of variables you cannot control. You can't control the weather. You can't always control your opponent, and you can't control how other people on your own team play. But you can always control your food and fluid."