athlete diet: cookbooks by NFL players and other sports stars
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Professional athletes are always hungry for a challenge which is why it’s no surprise they’re beginning to make their mark in the competitive world of cookbooks. Below you’ll find recipe collections from notable names in sports—plus a couple of options from high profile chefs that prepare meals for some all-star ballers—that are not only suited for fellow athletes but also carb-loving fans.

Related Reading: How to Sneak Vegetables Into Your Big Game Menu

“Game-Day Eats: 100 Recipes for Homegating Like a Pro”  by Eddie Jackson, $18.54 on Amazon


NFL cornerback turned professional chef Eddie Jackson merges his two passions with this collection of recipes that is sure to satisfy football fanatics. The 2015 “Food Network Star” winner’s cookbook debut is certainly geared toward fans watching the game than those playing it, focusing on hearty “homegating” eats with a Texas twist such as Chipotle Rib Nachos and Poblano and Hatch Corn Pudding, one of several “Super Bowls.” Beer is, of course, a major part of the game-day diet and Jackson tackles brews on all fronts from drinking (Citrus Beer Float), to eating (Texas-Style Stout Chili) and, most impressively, drinking and eating (Smoked Shrimp Michelada). Buy Now

“Food for Life: Delicious & Healthy Comfort Food from My Table to Yours!” by Laila Ali, $16.95 on Amazon


Comfort food that packs a flavorful punch while keeping your waistline slim is the focus of this winner from Laila Ali, the only person on Earth to hold championship titles for boxing and “Chopped All-Stars.” “Food for Life” features over 100 recipes including The Greatest of All Time Burger, a favorite of Ali’s legendary father (Muhammad Ali, just to be clear), and Heavenly Lemon Yogurt Cake that lives up to its name. Buy Now

“The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith, and the Joy of Eating Well” by Ayesha Curry, $12.79 on Amazon


Ayesha Curry is neither a professional athlete nor a professionally trained chef. But the lifelong foodie is a pro when it comes to feeding her family (which happens to include her husband, NBA All-Star Stephen Curry), and with “The Seasoned Life” she shares some of her winning recipes. It’s definitely worth taking a shot at her Jamaican Curry Chicken (for obvious reasons) and 5 Ingredient Pasta (Steph’s favorite), but she also scores with her well-honed takes on tried and true classics like mac and cheese and chewy chocolate chip cookies.Buy Now

“Eating Well to Win: Inspired Living Through Inspired Cooking” by Richard Ingraham, $17.99 on Amazon


When you’re tasked with feeding an elite athlete, the pressure is twofold: You need to create meals that not only taste good, but are also good for you. With “Eating Well to Win,” Richard Ingraham, longtime personal chef to NBA champion Dwyane Wade (he wrote the foreword), checks off both boxes with an eclectic array of healthy, yet mouthwatering dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. From Buckwheat Pancakes with Maple Apples to Jumbo Lump Crab Coleslaw, you’ll find plenty of inventive twists on familiar favorites combined with easy-to-follow instructions that will make you feel like a superstar in the kitchen and on the court.Buy Now

“The Nolan Ryan Beef & Barbecue Cookbook: Recipes from a Texas Kitchen” by Nolan Ryan, $6.89 on Amazon


If you grew up in the Lone Star State and spent thirteen seasons as an elite pitcher for the Texas Rangers and Houston Astros, you might know a thing or two when it comes to barbecue. From burger basics to rub recipes (Ryan also has his own line of seasonings), there are no curveballs here. Take a swing at the strikeout king’s collection of grilled delights and prepare to get messy with Texas. Buy Now

“Run Fast. Cook Fast. Eat Slow.: Quick-Fix Recipes for Hangry Athletes” by Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky, $15.69 on Amazon


Shalane Flanagan may be one of the world’s elite long-distance runners, but this follow-up to the “New York Times” bestseller “Run Fast. Eat Slow” takes more of a sprint approach when it comes to cooking. The Olympic medalist and multiple marathon winner along with her writing partner and chef guru Elyse Kopecky have crafted recipes that are designed for the individual who wants to spend more time jogging than julienning. You’ll find health-conscious options in addition to heartier fare like their Marathon Bolognese, a belly burster that will give you all the nourishment you need to cross the finish line.Buy Now

“The TB12 Method: How to Achieve a Lifetime of Sustained Peak Performance” by Tom Brady, $19.48 on Amazon


If you’ve ever wanted to step into Tom Brady’s cleats (or Uggs), this intensive guide that outlines the six-time Super Bowl champion’s 360 degree approach to wellness and fitness is the closest you may get to pulling off the feat (minus the fame, fortune, and supermodel wife). The greatest quarterback of all time dishes out all of the secrets to his success both in the kitchen and beyond, providing recipes and overall diet tips and tricks that have fueled his success. This is a book that will test the boundaries of your comfort zone, but consider that a positive.  (Avocado ice cream? Way better than it sounds.)Buy Now

Header image courtesy of Amazon

David is a food and culture writer based in Los Angeles by way of New York City. His work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, CBS Local, Mashable, and Gawker.
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