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LA Rams’ Aaron Donald follows a high-carb diet to stay lean and is one of the fittest in the league

LA Rams player Aaron Donald, who has won the defensive player of the year three consecutive times, follows a diet that consists of 20 cups of popcorn.

LA Rams player Aaron Donald, who has won the defensive player of the year three consecutive times, follows a diet that consists of 20 cups of popcorn.
Gary A. VasquezUSA TODAY Sports

One of the NFL’s strongest and leanest players, Aaron Donald, relies heavily on a carb- and fat-heavy diet, and is one of the fittest players in the league.

The LA Rams defensive player defies the norm of the high-protein diets that most other NFL players rely on.

The 30-year-old, 280-lb defensive lineman has helped lead the Rams to their second Super Bowl in three seasons and has made the Pro Bowl in all of his eight NFL seasons.

Not only is Donald’s effectiveness in run games clear and consistent, but his force on the field continues to power through, making him the only active player in the NFL now to have won the ‘Defensive Player of The Year’ award three times.

So how exactly does Donald fuel himself to have such power on the field?

Aaron Donald can consume up to 12 Jamba Juice Smoothies

According to the Rams’ public relations department, lead dietitian Joey Blake shared that the 30-year-old’s diet consists of 30% fats, 50% carbs, and 20% protein. Donald consumes 164 grams of fat, 616 grams of carbs and 245 grams of protein in a day to meet his 5,000 calorie intake.

Let’s take you through even more details in case these numbers don't make sense. Donald’s 245-gram protein can consist of six cups of chicken meat, 12 Jamba Juice protein smoothies, and 30 glasses of milk. Now imagine how many cups of pasta would he be having for his 616 grams of carbs? Fifteen.

Not to mention seven cups of avocado or hummus and 55 ounces of fish.

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Blake also shared that Donald consumes those 5,000 calories on high-volume days, “and despite what you think, the majority of those calories would be more fat than protein given the amount of recovery his body needs."

As a point of comparison, superstar QB Tom Brady, who literally has his own TB12 diet for peak performance, also eats just 20% protein. However, the remaining 80% of Brady’s diet is based on plant-based foods like vegetables, fruits, and grains.

Aaron Donald body fat percentage

Here is the cherry on top: Donald’s body fat is only 11%.

That is considered an optimal percentage for elite athletes' performance. But athletes who are not NFL players and not defensive lineman. That’s lower than the average 25% of NFL defense.

Donald is surely one of the fittest NFL players in the league, and is preparing his body and mind ahead of Super Bowl Sunday against the Cincinnati Bengals. 


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