The Real-Life Diet of Ndamukong Suh, Who Is Dead Serious About Recovery

When do you eat lunch?

Before I get into that two to three hour window of afternoon physical therapy work, I’ll eat lunch or have a quick snack. I’ll have another snack while I’m playing with my kids.

For snacks, I love Justin’s almond butter. Otherwise, I’ll have hard boiled eggs, parfaits, trail mix, and (even though it’s not necessarily a snack) I love kombucha. One of the perks of having a chef is that he makes different superfood bars all of the time, which are great to have around. If I want to be bigger on protein depending on where I’m at in a certain cycle, he can take that into account. It all depends on the time of year and what we’re trying to accomplish. As far as actual lunch, I love a good salad with chicken and vegetables. if it’s not a salad, then really it’ll just be something that’s a nutrient dense, quality, well-balanced meal.

Have you always been this dialed in on your nutrition?

Honestly, yeah. Nutrition has been something that I’ve focused on since college, thanks to our nutritionist that we worked with at Nebraska. He taught me how to perform well and fuel smart as a young guy who also was drinking and wanted to have fun. As I’ve grown professionally, I really took what I put into my body to that next level with our performance coach. We’ll do nutritional evaluation testing to see how my body reacts to different foods, making sure I’m getting all the micronutrients I need. I know what my body processes very well and what it doesn’t, so we can try and stay away from those different things or eat them in moderation.

What do you try to just have in moderation?

Well, I love Snickers and Peanut M&Ms, but knowing how my body works, I try to stay away from stuff like that. I don’t want to go overboard. And in the off season, that’s when we really experiment and try different things to see how I respond, whether that is going keto or vegetarian or pescatarian or whatever.

I’m guessing your routine has changed since you and your wife had your twins in March of 2021.

There are so many challenges with two kids, but I’ve enjoyed every bit of it. I love it when I get home and see them. Now that they’re 10 months, when I walk in the door their faces just light up. But when it comes to sleep, it’s been tough. My nights are definitely a lot later.

How late?

Last year, my wife and I would get to bed no later than 7 or 7:30. We would enjoy talking and TV for a couple hours, and then get to sleep by 9 or 9:30. Now, the kids go to bed at 7 or 7:30, so by the time we clean up the house and get our act together, we don’t get into the bedroom until 9 or 9:30. Get to sleep by 10:30, turn around and need to be up at 6 a.m. Life definitely revolves around the kids, which is great, but also different.

What do you eat for dinner?

It depends on the night, and again, we’re super lucky to have the chef. It could be Mexican night, Greek night, Italian, Asian. Sometimes if we want fried chicken, Chef Luke will hook it up.

Not everyone can have a chef—but what advice do you have base on what makes you perform so well?

What I will say is you have to focus on you. There’s no perfect workout for everybody. The perfect workout is dialed in for that individual. Look at your performance from all angles—a nutritional aspect, recovery aspect, and training aspect—then lay out a plan that takes all of those things into account.

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