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Inside The Park: Diet Fuels Performance

Posted by Ryan Kerrigan on August 8, 2012 – 9:56 am

Note: Each day during the team’s training camp, Washington Redskins’ outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan will blog his insights about the team and his own life as he begins his second season in the NFL. To ask Ryan a question for the blog, you can leave a comment below, tweet your question to the Redskins’ account (@Redskins) with the hashtag #KerriganBlog, or leave a comment on the Redskins’ Facebook or Google+ pages.

So in last night’s “Inside the Park,” I talked about what types of things I do from an exercise standpoint to help my body withstand the rigors of the NFL season.

Today I’m going to talk about dieting and eating right. Throughout most of my childhood, I did not follow a particular diet. I ate whatever I wanted: fast food, sweets, drank soda pop. I never thought that it really affected me too much since I was young and would burn off most of what I ate.

However, I decided to switch up my diet after seeing the dividends it paid for my brother, Kyle. Before Kyle’s senior season of high school swimming, he changed his diet and started being more cognizant of what he was eating. He quit drinking pop, stopped eating sweets and started consistently eating fruits and vegetables. Kyle qualified for state that year in swimming and easily had his best season that year. I believed that was a direct result of his diet change.

From that moment forward, I decided to follow a diet. It didn’t all happen at once, but I slowly began adding nutritious foods to my diet and eliminating things like sweets and soda.

Throughout college, I continued to try something each year to help improve my diet and improve my play on the field. One of the major things I did during my junior year of college was eliminate all restaurant food during the week. I’d treat myself on weekends after the games, but throughout the week I would not eat restaurant food.

I’ve continued that today and I feel that it has helped me tremendously to only put homemade food in my system all the way up until game time. I feel that it is okay to have a couple of cheat meals in there every so often, but for the most part I try to only eat healthy foods.

One thing I’ve been trying recently to improve my diet is to only eat red meat on cheat meal days. More often than not, meats such as chicken, fish, and turkey are leaner than most red meats. Since I’ve made this change, I’ve felt fresher and I feel like I’ve reduced some body fat as well.

I feel like my diet has helped me to recover quicker after games and gives me energy to play on Sunday.

Here’s a couple great questions for today:

From ‘Tee’ on the Redskins Blog:
“My son is a big fan of (yours)…he (sees) all the best players have tattoos, how come you do not have one? Or do you have any that we just don’t see?”

I don’t have anything against tattoos. Some tattoos are pretty cool looking, while on the flip side you wonder what some people are thinking when they have the tattoos they have. I’ve never gotten a tattoo because I’m not really a tattoo-kind of guy. I’ve never thought of a picture or word or phrase that I’d like to see on my body every day of my life. Just not something I’ve ever given much thought. Plus, mama wouldn’t be too thrilled if I got inked up!

From ‘Rob’ on the Redskins Blog:
“Has anyone ever compared you to Redskins Great “Sam Huff?” I see a lot of (similarities) between you and Sam!!!”

That’s quite an honor – thank you! No one has ever compared me to Sam Huff, but I’ll definitely take the honor. He was a tremendous player and a tremendous Redskin. It means a lot to be a linebacker for the Redskins with players like him and Chris Hanburger. I’ve got a lot to live up to.

That’s all I got today. Looking forward to Thursday!


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Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Inside The Park: Diet Fuels Performance”

  1. By Mitch on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    With you attitude and work ethic in 10 years i could see you mentioned in the same way as Huff and Hanburger. The sky is the limit for you. Hope you have a healthy and long career as a Redskin!

  2. By RussianBreadMaker on Aug 8, 2012 | Reply

    These are the kind of players the Redskins should have been drafted for the past 20 years.

  3. By josh on Aug 12, 2012 | Reply

    Who is your best friend Mr. Kerrigan? How and where did you meet him or her?

    Josh (a 22 year old extremely passionate skins fan who is too young to have witnessed any glory days but I know they are soon to come and you will be defensive MVP of the NFL the year that will be glorious to skins fans!)

    P.S You are my all-time favorite Redskin because you seem like such a cool and down to earth guy, not to mention how awesome of a player you are and congrats on getting a sack the very first play of the preseason….God Bless!

  4. By Hannah on Aug 13, 2012 | Reply

    What could you see yourself doing, career wise, if it wasn’t for football? What was your major in college? I’m a junior in college now and can’t seem to figure out what I want to do! So many different things running though my head, would love to do something with sports or kids!

    But having you on the team is great! You’re such an awesome addition to the team!

    Can’t wait for the season to start! HTTR ❤

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