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Fueling Up with Andrew Luck

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck grew up with healthy choices all around him. But it wasn’t until he started playing football at Stanford that he began paying more attention to what he put in his body. Now he’s a big proponent of eating smart and staying hydrated by drinking lots of water and BODYARMOR, an electrolyte-filled sports drink. He spoke with SI KIDS about how he keeps his body fueled.

At what age did you learn the concept of moderation when it comes to eating food that is not great for you?

It’s something I still work on. I love chocolate. If I don’t watch myself, I’ll look down, and I’ll have eaten the whole bar, 32 squares of something. I do think moderation is key. That’s what my parents preached growing up. It’s O.K. to have a serving of dessert if you ate the rest of the meal and if your meal was nice and balanced, but limit that to once serving, or else it’s going to bite you somewhere.

What about learning how to say, I’m choosing this snack because it’s good for me and not that snack, which is bad for me?

When I was growing up, my mom erred on the side of healthy snacks. We had a lot of choices, but most of them were healthy. When I got to college, I started to understand my body better and realize, Hey, If I eat this an hour before practice, I’m going to feel terrible and I’m not going to perform as well as I’d like — as opposed to eating some trail mix and a banana. My body would often lead me to what I should eat and what I shouldn’t eat. You continue to learn as you get older what works for you. 

What are your go-to snacks? 

During the week, I eat a bunch of almonds and a little dried fruit and a banana before practice. If we’re in meetings, I’ll try to get trail mix and a banana.

What kind of advice can you give to kids about how you fuel up before, say, an afternoon game?

Nutrition to me is as much a part of getting your body ready to play as anything. It’s the fuel that your body is going to use to hopefully perform your best. If you have the wrong fuel, your body’s not going to be able to do its best. I think hydration is important to me. That’s where BODYARMOR comes in, with the coconut water, the electrolytes, the potassium. My last meal is about four hours before the game. For a 1 p.m. game, I’ll eat around 9, and it’s a big breakfast of oatmeal and fruit and scrambled eggs with veggies and some meats and hash browns or some sort of potato. I drink BODYARMOR before the game to get that hydration process working. I’ll eat a snack an hour before the game, some sort of energy bar to get a little more in my stomach. 

And what about after a game? 

That’s always a tough one. If it’s at home, either my mom’s cooked up a big meal of pasta or chicken and rice or something hearty. The hydration part of it is super important. I drink a lot of water, a lot of BODYARMOR just to get the electrolytes back. I’ll have trouble sleeping if I’m not back on that path back to rehydration. You wake up in the middle of the night with a really dry mouth, and it’s tough to breathe. 

Photo: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images

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