Reggie Kelly Says All NFL Players Keep These Three Foods In Their Fridge

It's well established that football stars need to take care of their nutrition needs to excel on the field. Per The Washington Post, NFL legend Tom Brady is known for his strict diet that includes lots of fruits, vegetables, fish, lean meat, and water. He also steers clear of sugar and processed foods, as well as dairy, gluten, and soy. Other athletes have an everything-in-moderation approach, such as Patrick Mahomes II. The Kansas City Chiefs quarterback prefers to incorporate a little bit of everything into his meals, eating a combination of starches, proteins, and produce without restricting any particular items. 

While every athlete has a different eating plan, many football players have a few go-to foods in common. Former Cincinnati Bengals tight end Reggie Kelly recently told Eat This, Not That which three superfoods NFL players keep on hand at all times to stay healthy and full of stamina.

The top picks are protein- and carb-packed

As far as Reggie Kelly is concerned, three common food items help all NFL players reach their full potential on the field: salmon, sweet potatoes, and hummus, he told Eat This, Not That. As trainers and nutritionists Daniel and Shanda Sullivan explained to the publication, "NFL athletes exert a tremendous amount of force while maintaining endurance throughout all four quarters. Being able to recover quickly requires high-quality protein."

And protein they will certainly get from salmon, sweet potatoes, and hummus. One 3.5-ounce serving of salmon has 140 calories, 6 grams of fat, and an impressive amount of protein at 20 grams, according to Shape, as well as omega-3 fatty acids that prevent inflammation during intense exertion, like playing football. Sweet potatoes, as chef-nutritionist Mario Limaduran shared with Eat This, Not That, can help athletes stay energized with fiber and carbohydrates, plus vitamins and minerals. As for hummus, the chickpea-based dish is "particularly beneficial" after a strenuous activity; sports nutritionist Tony Ricci told Muscle and Fitness that "the combination of protein and carbs in hummus" may help carbohydrates slowly enter the bloodstream, "which is really good to consume for a window of about two hours and more before training and two hours or more post training."