Athletes are among the most superstitious people out there. And when someone has a successful run, they may just attribute it to routine, which includes what they ate when that run started. Couple this, in many cases, with an extremely health-conscious mentality, and you get some pretty unusual eating habits. Whatever works, I suppose.
Here are some of the strangest eating habits from the world of professional sports. You won’t believe what these guys actually put in their bodies, and you probably shouldn’t follow their example.
Probably the most famous eating habit comes from Major League Baseball Hall of Famer Wade Boggs, who ate an entire chicken before every game. That’s right, Boggs would down fried chicken as part of his pre-game ritual. Given that he played for 18 seasons, that has to be over 2500 chickens. It’s probably not as dull and dry as it sounds though, considering that his wife reportedly has 50 different chicken recipes.
Caron Butler (Photo Credit: 2011 NBAE Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images)
This is less of an eating habit than a caffeinated beverage habit. Los Angeles Clippers forward Caron Butler is seemingly addicted to Mountain Dew, and we don’t just mean a measly can of the stuff now and then. In his younger days he would drink half a two-liter bottle before each game and then finish it off at halftime. That can’t be good for your teeth.
The Chicago Bears linebacker is about as intimidating as they come. But his pre-game ritual of eating two chocolate chip cookies — only two, no more or less! — probably won’t send shivers down the spines of his opponents. Just two cookies? Most of us eat more than that waiting for dinner. Ray Lewis probably isn’t all that impressed.
Steve Nash is one of the NBA’s all-time great point guards, and he loves nuts! He actually was a nut advocate for a while, posting on his Facebook and touting the health benefits of carrying sacks of almonds, cashews and pistachios with him whenever he travels. I guess “nuts” is the operative word here.
This one is downright strange. Lyoto Machida, one of the top UFC fighters, drinks his own urine. Yeah, let’s let that one sink in for a minute. This somewhat medicinal practice, which is completely optional, is done to wash out the waste and toxins in your body. Oh, and it’s probably worth noting that Machida has mentioned that he actually likes how it tastes. So, there’s that.
Marshawn Lynch (Photo Credit: Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)
One of the most memorable moments from the 2011 NFL season was Marshawn Lynch, the Seahawks running back, simply running over the Philadelphia Eagles on his way to a 15-yard touchdown. That was followed by a shot of Lynch on the sidelines downing an entire handful of Skittles. He eats them between plays for energy. Lucky for him, the folks over at Skittles took notice, and offered him a two-year supply of their candy as a sign of their appreciation.
It’s well-documented that Phelps has one of the strangest diets out there. He consumes over 12,000 calories per day, eating pounds of pasta, large pizzas, five-egg omelets, french toast, large sandwiches and more. (There’s even an eating challenge based on his diet.) The truth is Phelps can afford to eat such a daily feast since his training regimen burns as many calories as he takes in. Most people only need about one quarter of Phelps’ daily caloric intake, so we don’t recommend trying this at home.
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Tom Lorenzo is a freelance sports, entertainment and pop culture writer from New York City. You can follow him on Twitter at @TomLorenzo.