In a weird sort of way, it’s comforting – and a little maddening – when you find out that pro athletes eat, even sometimes, like many of us.
As in, when they’re hungry now and they’re short on time, they pull into a fast food drive-thru line instead of looking for a healthier option or cooking something at home.
Denver Broncos receiver Emmanuel Sanders is one of those people. Or, more accurately, he was.
Now that he’s 30-years-old, the Pro Bowler has recently started paying much closer attention to what he puts into his body, and believes it’s making a difference.
Speaking with 9 News Denver reporter Mike Klis during a break at a youth football camp he was hosting, Sanders pointed to his age and energy level as reasons why he changed his diet.
“I was eating bad. If I was hungry I would sometimes go through the McDonald’s line and grab me a 20-piece (chicken McNuggets),” Sanders admitted. “I would go through Burger King, just fast food because I was ready to eat now.
“But now I’m listening to my body a lot more. There’s something about being able to understand your body. What you can put in your body that gives you a burst of energy, or what you put in your body that makes you go to sleep. That’s what I’m understanding more.”
Listed at 5-foot-11, 180 pounds, Sanders is already lithe, particularly by NFL standards. But heading into his eighth season, he claims he feels better now than he did as a rookie in 2010.
“Left that fast food alone,” he said. “Left certain things that made my body feel weird. From an energy standpoint, my energy level is high because of what I’m putting in my body. Food is fuel. I started to understand that.
“Not only that my mind has started to slow down. It’s something about when you hit 30. You know who you are and you know where you want to go. You have a sense of direction. My destination is to try to get to the Super Bowl, try to win Super Bowls and try to go for 1,200, 1,300 yards and I understand what it takes to get there. And that’s through hard work and dedication.
“We’ve got this new offense with Mike McCoy. We’re going to be throwing the ball around so my conditioning has to be up and I’ve been working on that.”
Sanders totaled 256 receptions, 3,571 yards and 20 touchdowns from 2014-16, his first three seasons with the Broncos, making the Pro Bowl in two of those three years. McCoy has returned to Denver as offensive coordinator after four years as the San Diego Chargers head coach, a job he took after running the Broncos’ offense from 2009-12.
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