NEW ORLEANS — Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt is living proof of the benefits of nutritious living, and he expounded on the idea Friday at the Gatorade Fuel Bar on Radio Row.
Watt has partnered with Gatorade since his rookie season, and he was one of the many athletes who went to the Gatorade Sports Science Institute to see how he compares to the recommended levels of nutrients that have been found to allow optimal performance.
“This is what I go to work with every day,” Watt said of his body. “A carpenter goes with a hammer and nails. I go with arms and legs, so I need to make sure it’s working at all times. Gatorade taught me the proper times to put things in my body, the proper nutrients to put in my body and what I can do to make sure my body’s working at all times.”
Watt said partnering with Gatorade really helped him when he made the transition from his hometown of Waukesha, Wis., to his NFL home in Houston.
“My first training camp in Houston, it was 39 straight days of 100 degrees or hotter,” Watt said. “If it’s 100 degrees in Wisconsin, I think we might have cancelled practice. I really needed the hydration. I really needed the fuel in my body to make sure my body did what it needed to.”
Gatorade Fuel Bars will be constructed on college campuses and in pro locker rooms across the country in the coming year.
Founded in 1985, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute has been at the forefront of innovation in sports nutrition. Through its D.A.T.A. program — the Dietary Analysis Tool for Athletes — Gatorade scientists give athletes a way to structure their meal plans and diets to allow them to perform during and recover after competition.
Mark Kovacs, director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, said the athletes who are tested at GSSI obtain data that will help them improve performance. Through the GSSI fuel survey, Gatorade looks at the athletes’ eating habits before events, including practices and games before suggesting slight changes.
“This is not a bad education,” Kovacs said. “(J.J.) may think he’s eating everything perfect, but there may be some slight adjustments we would like to make. The sports dietician would work with him on making those specific adjustments.”
– Matt Florjancic, ClevelandBrowns.com