A sports nutritionist reacts to football player DK Metcalf’s diet of three bags of candy and one meal a day

He appeared on the March 24, 2022 episode of KG Certificate, featured by Basketball Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett, on the SHOWTIME Basketball YouTube channel was Seattle Seahawks wide receiver DK Metcalf. In the episode, the subject of Metcalf’s diet came up. According to the footballer, eat three bags of candy, drink a coffee and only eat one full meal per day.

Metcalf has been in the NFL since 2019. He has played three seasons at the time of this article’s publication and posted some elite-level stats. According NFL.comIn 49 career games, Metcalf has amassed 3,170 receiving yards on 216 receptions with 29 touchdowns. That’s an average of 4.4 receptions and 64.7 yards per game. Since a diet based on processed sugar is not what many would expect from an athlete of Metcalf’s caliber, Bar Bend reached out to registered dietitian nutritionist and sports performance dietitian Gianna Masi for a professional opinion on whether or not Metcalf is leaving potential gains on the table.

Check out Masi’s take on Metcalf’s diet below, but first, here’s Metcalf’s full interview with Garnett. Metcalf’s candy diet discussion starts at 26:25:

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Old diet versus new diet?

Before delving into the details of his current diet, previous interviews with Metcalf suggest that his diet used to be closer to what might be considered “normal” for a professional athlete. At Metcalf’s 2019 Interview with GQ, Metcalf confirmed that he hired a private chef who prepared him low-carb meals with “lots of protein and vegetables.” In what seems like the antithesis of his candy-rich diet today, Metcalf steered clear of processed sugar:

I try not to eat a lot of fats and oils, and I stay away from carbohydrates and sugars.

Even in the early days of Metcalf’s career, he still found ways to curb his sweet tooth through Starbucks’ caramel lattes. It seems that he has allowed more indulgence to his sweet tooth, as three bags of candy per day (the Life Savers and Skittles gummies explicitly mentioned) is a lot by most people’s standards to eat every day. of the week.

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Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Reacts

Bar Bend contacted registered dietitian nutritionist and sports performance dietitian and founder of Gritty Nutrition, Gianna Masi, RDN, CISSN, about her thoughts on Metcalf’s daily nutrition choice.

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It’s no secret that Metcalf is in excellent shape. He is six feet four inches tall and weighs 235 pounds cosmetically. Masi suggests that it is “highly unlikely” that Metcalf will be able to maintain a year-round diet of sweets and coffee and “especially with seasonal travel and… access to food during training.”

Given that much of a professional footballer’s daily life involves a lot of training, Masi is pretty sure Metcalf is getting “adequate carbohydrates,” which will keep his performance on the pitch from diminishing, even if fiber and protein (which is i.e., macronutrients and micronutrients) the amount is questionable.

There will always be a spectrum of quality that an athlete is willing to try, from bananas to Sour Patch Kids. But those are all fast-absorbing carbs for a pre-, during-, or post-workout option.

While Masi isn’t opposed to athletes eating sweets if that’s what they like, he recommends limiting simple sugars in favor of complex carbohydrates like vegetables.

“I don’t think the Amount of sugar or carbohydrates is what would leave gains or performance on the table,” says Masi. “But I do think that consistently missing total dietary intake throughout the day could leave you feeling less than optimal.”

Masi raised concerns about a potentially weakened immune system response when you don’t eat enough. This can lead to more frequent illnesses, such as colds, being more susceptible to injury.

If someone is low on fuel, I want to fix it right away.

Metcalf, as chiseled as he is from an aesthetic standpoint, does not surprise Masi. Metcalf’s daily activity is likely to be so high in volume and intensity that, at age 24, “his body composition may not be hampered by this style of eating at this time.”

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Could anyone eat like Metcalf?

Unless you’re also a professional athlete, Masi says that someone in the “general population or a lower level athlete would not do well to recreate this diet.” Without a Metcalf-equivalent training regimen to burn off those simple sugars, the diet “leaves a ton of nutrition on the table.”

Not enough fiber or total protein is eaten to prioritize muscle building and satiety. Eating this way can also reduce energy, affect the GI tract to be less efficient, and lead to bloating.

Eating three bags of candy could also affect dental health. Metcalf’s high volume of candy intake is likely sustainable due to how much he trains: he mentioned to Garnett that he trains twice before consuming any food. On the other hand, his ability to train at a higher intensity for so long is feasible, in part, due to the amount of carbohydrates he consumes.

Eating sweets in moderation from time to time is probably the best course of action. Massive daily consumption of sweets is best left to the professional athlete running across the football field.

Featured Image: @espn on Instagram