- Chicago Bears quarterback Justin Fields said he eats a vegan diet for better performance and health.
- High-carb foods like fruit, oats, beans, and grains help provide energy for his workouts.
- Protein sources like vegan chicken, quinoa, and plant-based shakes are key for muscle recovery.
NFL quarterback Justin Fields said a plant-based diet with plenty of carbs and protein helps his athletic performance and muscle recovery.
The Chicago Bears athlete went vegan in May 2020 after a 28-day challenge with his family and never looked back, Fields told Insider in an interview coordinated by the vegan protein drink company OWYN, for whom Fields is a brand ambassador.
“I think the biggest change for me is just how much lighter and faster I feel all around. This change was very drastic for me after I did the challenge I did with my family and was ultimately the reason I chose to continue a plant-based diet,” he said.
His current routine relies on starchy-carb staples like beans, rice, oats, and sweet potatoes, along with protein shakes and vegan versions of his favorite foods, for all-day energy to fuel his training.
He relies on fruit and coffee for a quick breakfast
Fields starts his day with fruit for a convenient, fast source of carbs and calories to kick off his busy schedule.
“I keep my mornings light, not always intentionally, but because they start early and I am usually on-the-go,” he said.
He also drinks coffee, which he said is the one food he can’t live without.
“I normally always have a coffee or a cold brew with me,” he said
Eating breakfast has benefits like more steady energy and better performance throughout the day, evidence suggests, although what you chose to breakfast on is a personal preference, registered dietitian Bonnie Taub-Dix previously told Insider.
Preworkout snacks include oats, nuts, and chia seeds
Before training, Fields loads up on more carbs, some protein, and healthy fats. His go-to foods include oats, along with more fruit, nuts, and chia seeds, which are packed with fiber, protein, and other nutrients.
For extra energy, he’ll often add almond butter for more protein and monounsaturated fats, which are linked to better heart health and lower inflammation.
Postworkout protein shakes are key for good muscle recovery
After training, Fields said getting in enough protein helps his muscles heal and build back stronger.
“Drinking a high-quality protein is important for me because it makes a big difference in recovery,” he said.
“My teammates have been really supportive of the things that I believe are best for me,” Fields said. “Some of my teammates will drink my OWYN shakes and honestly can’t tell that they’re plant-based.”
For lunch, Fields fuels up with plenty of carbs from sweet potatoes, rice and beans
Fields said his midday meal often emphasizes high-carb foods like rice, beans, and sweet potatoes, with other vegetables for nutrients.
“The key for me since I am training so much, is to make sure I have carbs for energy which is where the rice, beans, and starches come in,” he said.
Carbs are crucial for building and maintaining muscle as well as powering athletic performance, sports dietitians previously told Insider.
His high-protein dinners include vegan chicken nuggets and quinoa
To round out the day, Fields said he often relies on quinoa, a rich source of plant-based protein, along with some comfort foods.
His old favorites like chicken nuggets and burgers are easy to swap with plant-based versions from Beyond Meat and similar brands, according to Fields.
“I really don’t feel like I am missing out at all,” he said.