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‘At least 10’ football players – mostly defenders – from the Tennessee Titans have switched to a plant-based diet this season.
The athletes have long had a carnivorous reputation, according to news outlet USA Today, but now Tennessee’s defenders say they feel energized by their nutrition adjustment – which has helped the unit rank third and fifth in the NFL.
The Titans’ leading tackler, Wesley Woodyard, who is in his 10 season in the league, has touted the benefits of the newly-adopted diet.
“My energy level’s gone up,” Woodyard said.
“And it’s just putting in good fuel to your body. And of course, it’s always hard to keep weight on this time of the season.
“But it’s worth it for me staying on top of my health.”
Setting the tone
The unit moved away from animal products due to linebacker Derrick Morgan, who set the tone for his teammates.
When Morgan’s nutritionist advised him 10 months ago that a plant-based diet could help maximize his performance, he dropped animal foods entirely.
According to his wife, Charity: “He knew that dairy always didn’t agree with his body because he would have reactions when he ate it.
“He never thought about meat. The human brain, we’ve been taught, ‘Oh, we need meat. It’s protein, protein, protein’.
“We both had to re-educate ourselves on what is protein.”
Charity Morgan is a Cordon Bleu-trained chef – and is now feeding 11 Titans, with more on a waiting list.
Favorites include vegan crabcakes and pea protein burgers.
The chef also delivers a pair of coolers with food each day for practice, and even provides breakfast burritos on game days at home.
But some players haven’t committed to the new diet 100 percent.
DaQuan Jones has a ‘cheat meal’ of chicken once a week for a ‘protein boost’, and defensive lineman Jurrell Casey still eats fish.