REVEALED: What Travis Kelce, Patrick Mahomes and their Chiefs teammates eat before game day and how many calories an NFL player actually consumes

Chiefs nutritionist Leslie Bonci has lifted the lid on working with NFL players
The likes of Kelce and Mahomes like to indulge in breakfast foods before games

Kansas City Chiefs nutritionist Leslie Bonci has lifted the lid on what the likes of Travis Kelce and Patrick Mahomes eat before an NFL game – and the answer is a surprising one.

NFL stars need to fuel themselves in the right way to ensure they’re at the top of the game by the time they step on to the field, meaning teams employ nutritionists like Bonci to keep their players in tip-top condition.

Yet in an interview with Bet Kansas, the Chiefs dietitian revealed that Kansas City stars usually demand breakfast foods such as French toast, waffles and pancakes before a game – even if they’re playing in the evening.


‘A lot of guys at the Chiefs love fish,’ she said. ‘BBQ food is right up there with burnt ends like brisket and the charred part as well as ribs but that’s a meal in the middle of a week not on gameday.

‘I wouldn’t say it’s a superstition, but players are creatures of habit and there are some that like breakfast foods even if it’s on a night game because that’s their comfort food.

Chiefs players often opt for breakfast foods such as waffles before games, even if they’re playing in the evening

French toast is another favorite snack of Kansas City stars before they take to the field
Mahomes and Co have plenty of options from their team of nutrionists heading into games

‘They want an egg sandwich, pancakes, waffle or French Toast. Not many of the players are eating an enormous amount of food before a game.

‘We do have steak, pasta, chicken and sandwiches as well as French Toast and we have this abundance of food so players can come in and think “what shall I eat”. What we don’t want is players doing a U-turn and having a missed fueling opportunity so kudos to our executive chefs.

During a week of practice and gym sessions, the Super Bowl champions keep themselves ticking over with protein as well as salads and carbohydrates.

‘It is normally fish and chicken for our team for meals during the week,’ Bonci continued. ‘Red meat comes in at a third but it’s not just protein, there are Caesar salads, potatoes are a big one and also rice and pasta.

‘Salmon, swordfish, tuna, catfish, cod are those types of fish with texture rather than a squishy fish. Seafood is a big one too with shrimp and crab cakes. We try and be mindful of food waste though we don’t want to be throwing away tins and tins of food.’

Breakfast options, which are eaten before 8:30am, in that time include hot or cold cereal, eggs, omelets, sandwiches, potatoes or smoothies. Lunch is eaten between 12pm and 1pm, while options are also available after practice.

On two nights of every week Chiefs players are also offered the chance to have a dinner knocked up by Bonci and Co, which has plenty of benefits for both them and the team.

‘There’s a lot of options from fillet to roasted salmon and grilled chicken or if they want pizza, there’s a pizza oven,’ Bonci said. ‘They have the option, so they don’t have to go out and eat, that way we know what they are eating which is better for us.

During the week, Chiefs players eat breakfast before 8:30am and lunch between 12-1pm

‘They can eat what they want. One thing, when a team makes a transition from college sport to football, there is a lot more food available all the time and it is not that way sometimes in college sport because the dining hall is not open 24/7 whereas our dining hall is open all the time so guys can get what it is they want.’

Sweet treats, Bonci revealed, are usually enjoyed in free time as opposed to at Kansas City’s practicefacility.

So how many calories does an NFL quarterback typically intake on a daily basis?

Bonci said: ‘When we are looking at football players, don’t assume they eat 10,000 calories a day because they don’t. In general, QB’s like Pat Mahomes eat at the most 3,000 calories a day and not everyone eats five times a day.

‘It depends upon that particular player. Some players don’t have an appetite in the mornings and aren’t necessarily eating a lot at lunch because they’re training. Some guys go to bed early so they’re not doing an after dinner snack because they want to sleep so it is a lot less than what people think.’

Kelce recently revealed that whether it’s game day or a weekend off, he eats a whopping 4,000 calories a day.

The 34-year-old Chiefs’ tight end demands massive amounts of food to keep up with his efforts on the field, which includes burning up to 700 calories an hour.

While 4,000 might sound like a lot to many, Kelce also openly admits he has a penchant for junk food like pizza.