NFL dreams pass you by? Don’t worry! You can still be as good as Gronk with his diet. Are you man enough?
He’s six feet, six inches tall. He weighs 265 pounds. He’s the New England Patriots tight-end Rob Gronkowski.
And, his physique is a prime example of how strategic conditioning and precise nutrition combine to produce optimal results. Gronkowski has a muscular build with clear definition. Yet, he maintains enough body fat and mass to make him an impermeable force on the field.
His workout regimen places considerable demands on his nutritional needs. It includes heavy lifting, agility drills, core workouts and cross training. Because of that, “The Gronk,” as his fans lovingly call him, adheres to a diet plan. What is it? It includes a high volume of high-quality whole foods. Why? They promote growth and keep him lean.
By consuming foods that are high in protein, antioxidants and complex carbs, and by staying properly hydrated, Gronk gets all he needs. He’s able to build and maintain muscle mass, speed muscle recovery and stay agile during any workout. Some of his “target foods” include greens and berries for their antioxidant powers. Then there are the proteins. These include tuna and chicken to rebuild muscles. Along with that are complex carbs such as brown rice and sweet potatoes for energy.
How Should The Day Start?
Your mom was right. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Gronk’s no stranger to breakfast. At about 7:30 am, he enjoys a power-packed meal of oatmeal, egg whites, fruit and mass gaining powder.
While the mass gainer is important in meeting his caloric needs as an athlete who does a lot of training with heavy lifting, the nutritional gains behind his other breakfast choices are equally, if not more, significant.
Why? It’s complex and slow burning. That means energy is provided over a long period of time without the sugar crash, a downfall of simple carbs.
During high-intensity workouts, the body uses about 87% of its calories from carbs, with the remaining 13% being from fat. This ratio is more extreme than you see with endurance workouts. That normally burns about 43% of calories from carbs. Since high-intensity workouts require more carbs, those doing this type of exercise, such as Gronk, need a higher intake to meet their energy needs.
In fact, low glycogen stores elicits a catabolic (protein breakdown) situation. This is thought to be one of the main causes of athletic overtraining. Experts agree that for best results, complex carbs such as oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potato should be consumed at least two hours prior to a workout. This ensures that the food has exited the gut and all energy that would have been divested in digestion can be directed toward lifting weights.
What Does Rob Gronkowski’s Lunch Look Like?
After a rigorous workout that could include heavy lifting, cross training or even swimming, Gronkowski needs a lunch high in protein and healthy, complex carbs. A typical lunch for Gronk consists of grilled chicken, green veggies and sweet potatoes. He’s an expert at incorporating healthy proteins into his diet throughout the day. Of course, that’s vital when you’re working out as much as he does. Lunch fuels him.
The accomplished tight-end favors tuna, chicken and turkey. Why? These help repair exercise-damaged muscle fibers and promote protein synthesis.
Sports nutrition experts agree that athletes have higher protein needs than the average person. Close attention is needed to ensure those demands are met.
High resistance exercise such as heavy lifting induces high rates of protein synthesis and breakdown in the 24-hour period after exercise. If enough protein isn’t consumed post-workout, then the rate of protein breakdown will exceed that of its synthesis. As a result, a loss of muscle mass will occur.
Gronkowski is aware of his protein needs. To meet his needs he eats animal protein such as grilled chicken, a turkey burger or egg whites at each meal. Why? When it comes to stimulating muscle growth, the essential amino acids which are found only in animal proteins are better than those found in plants.
But, there’s a point when amino acid availability reaches a threshold. At that point, no further protein synthesis occurs. For this reason, it’s vital that Gronk maintains proper protein portions all through the day.
Rob Gronkowski’s Snacks Can Help!
Gronk’s snacking and eating some small doses of protein every two hours is important. These snacks include peanut butter with mass gaining powder. Consuming small, standard amounts of protein optimizes his rate of muscle protein gain as the muscle-building boost of single dose amino acids only lasts two hours.
By eating a few small (or not always small) meals with protein throughout the day, Gronk harnesses the power of this macronutrient and optimizes its benefits. One of his preferred post-game meals consists of whey protein shakes, chocolate milk and peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.
These sandwiches are particularly useful. Why? They combine muscle-repairing proteins found in peanuts with carbs found in bread. This works to replenish depleted muscle glycogen stores—the primary exercise fuel.
Gronkowski satisfies all of his post-workout nutritional priorities with this snack. He restores glycogen stores by consuming carbs within 15 minutes of ending a workout and combines protein with carbs within 30 minutes of exercise, thereby doubling his insulin response. Also, consuming protein post workout boosts water absorption from the intestines, thereby hydrating muscles and speeding recovery.
What Are Some of Rob Gronkowski’s Pre-Workout Snacks?
Before starting one of his intense workouts, Gronk has two scoops of Inner Armor Muscle Rush and Test Peak. Along with that, he takes one to two tablespoons of peanut butter.
Inner Armor Muscle Rush has creatine, beta-alanine and arginine to support strength and focus while also helping burn off fat. Creatine is all the rage for its ability to boost ATP production, yielding increases in power, strength and energy for an optimized workout.
Beta-alanine is a naturally occurring amino acid. It maintains muscle pH by inhibiting the buildup of hydrogen ions. This assists in muscle endurance by staving off pain and cramping. It allows you to do more reps.
Arginine is a conditionally essential amino acid. It drives muscle pumps and boosts vasodilation for visible vascularity. Inner Armor Muscle Rush also has caffeine, a common supplement additive. Caffeine is known to boost focus and decrease soreness.
Hydration Is Key!
During some high-intensity practices, like those done under a blazing hot sun, Gronk can lose up to eight pounds of water. To stay hydrated, an athlete should drink about 20 to 24 ounces of water for every one pound lost during exercise. This means that Gronkowski must drink over a gallon of water per practice to stay properly hydrated.
Depending on thirst alone is not a great way to monitor your hydration needs. Drinking liquids before, during and after exercise is the only way to avoid muscle fatigue. By consuming fruits and sports drinks with electrolytes such as sodium and potassium, Gronk replenishes that lost water to help expedite hydration and recovery.
Drinking too much water comes with the risk of hyponatremia, where sodium levels become diluted. It can lead to irregular heart and muscle contraction. To avoid this yet still stay hydrated, sports drinks provide sodium and potassium.
These keep body liquid ratios at an optimal level. They also boost circulating blood glucose. Fruits provide not only water for hydration, but also phytonutrients and antioxidants to help speed recovery.
To help him stay hydrated on the field and to replenish liquids lost through sweat, Gronk rehydrates with BODYARMOR. BODYARMOR is a sports drink with coconut water, electrolytes and vitamins. James Harden, Mike Trout and Richard Sherman are also fans of these sports drinks. The coconut water found in BODYARMOR is naturally isotonic, with sodium and sugars that help to replace lost electrolytes, making it an ideal drink for athletes.
This Is A Smart Approach To Vitamins And Antioxidants…
BODYARMOR also has 100% of the DRI of vitamins A, C, and E and 200% of the DRI for B vitamins. The B vitamins (B-6, B-12, thiamin, folate, niacin, biotin, pantothenic acid and riboflavin) are vital for athletes in their powers of metabolism support and transformation of food into fuel.
The 600 mg of potassium and plentiful electrolytes help Gronkowski to not cramp up after a muscle-crushing practice by maintaining a proper fluid balance in his muscles. Gronk’s well-balanced diet with a myriad of fruits, veggies and whole grains also supply his body with the needed minerals to help curb electrolyte loss.
Gronk is also considered a huge fan of the antioxidant powers of blueberries and strawberries. They have the ability to fight the swelling and inflammation caused by oxidative stress. Exercise has been shown to boost oxidative stress. This occurs when the remaining 2 to 5% of oxygen that isn’t converted to water to produce energy for the body is used to make free radicals.
When the number of free radicals in the body exceeds its antioxidant defense mechanisms, you have a case of oxidative stress. This affects exercise performance and increases muscle damage and fatigue. The antioxidants found in berries such as blueberries and strawberries, as well as in leafy greens, which Gronk is also fond of, neutralize free radicals caused by exercise that lead to exercise-induced muscle damage.
Gronkowski’s emphasis on the importance of fresh fruit and veggies in his diet is significant. Why? It highlights the superiority of fresh produce over antioxidant supplements. Most nutritionists would agree that dietary phytochemicals found in plants are as important as antioxidant nutrients that protect against free radical damage.
Dinner Time For Rob Gronkowski…
For dinner, you can find Gronk eating a turkey or tuna burger with avocado, green veggies and quinoa. He loves foods with omega-3 fatty acids. For that reason, he tries to include foods such as fatty tuna and avocados in his diet. Omega-3s are widely known for their powers of reducing the risk of heart disease and stimulating hair and skin cell regeneration. They’re also great for their inflammation reduction properties.
By eating omega-3s, Gronkowski helps decrease the arachidonic acid contents of his body’s cell membranes. It also helps to cut the production of inflammatory molecules. According to a study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, omega-3s have resolvins. These help to end the body’s inflammatory response. This inflammation is often the culprit for muscle soreness and is also linked with inhibiting tissue repair.
In fact, it’s also been thought that a high intake of omega-3s contributes to the protein-building effects of exercise by improving protein metabolism. Gronk hits the nail on the head by eating omega-3s and antioxidants in one meal. Omega-3 fatty acids are highly unsaturated and are thus prone to degradation by free radicals. The antioxidants found in berries and leafy greens are the ultimate protection for omega-3s to ensure their best benefits.
These Are Some of Rob Gronkowski’s Good Cheat Meals!
Don’t be fooled! Gronk is human. He works out like an animal and eats like a saint. No doubt! But, you can still find him cheating on his diet with a few choice comfort foods.
What are they? You know the kind. You have them yourself. He likes Cheeseburgers, buffalo chicken pizza with blue cheese and his mom’s famous chicken soufflé dish. These are just a few of his favorite cheat meals. Sound familiar? We told you he was human. He even has a hot sauce you can find at participating Big Y and Stop & Shop stores across the Northeast. Made from choice habanero and cayenne peppers, Gronk’s spicy sauce will have you sweating bullets—no barbells required.
Rob Gronkowski’s diet is the model of nutritional perfection. We wouldn’t have expected any less. As a star tight end, he feels the pressures from within. He’s able to meet every demand placed on him.
He does so thanks to a combo of training and good nutrition. Relying on whole, clean foods, proper hydration and nutritional timing, Gronk optimizes his ability to see the results of his hard work.
– By Lillian Dumont