The Baseball Player Diet 101: Eating Like A Professional MLB Athlete

Like any dedicated athlete, a serious baseball player needs a diet and a lifestyle that is tailored to their needs. There is no point in competing if you aren’t going to do your best, and that requires health and fitness. When you think about it, baseball requires a large number of physical qualities: Strength, speed, agility, timing, hand-eye coordination, and more.

For all these reasons and more, athletes need to eat and train according to their sport. So, where can we find a reliable source of information on this subject? The obvious answer is that we should look for diet plans that have been endorsed by the highest-level MLB players. Thankfully, These kinds of diets are widely available.

How Important Is Nutrition In Baseball

This question would seem to be a difficult one, but some reliable research does exist on the subject. For instance, let’s take a look at our first study. Upon evaluation of a baseball team, nutritionists found that poor nutrition could be linked to poor performance and poor attitude.

Those who conducted this study noticed that the players with poor nutritional habits were usually the players who had a bad attitude, who picked fights with other players, and who didn’t perform very well on the field.

Other research indicates that poor education is partly to blame. This second study, conducted on NCAA baseball players, pointed in that direction. Players were each subjected to a “sports nutrition education intervention.” This is just a fancy way of saying that they showed up one day and educated some baseball players about proper nutrition. After that, they kept track of the players and checked to see if the good advice was heeded.

What they found, in this case, is that players who are educated about proper nutrition will usually listen. What’s more, they found that this increased level of education contributed to better performance on the field.

Principles Of The Baseball Diet

Principles Of The Baseball Diet

A group of sports dieticians in Australia came up with this set of standards, and we think it is a good one.


First of all, the report talks a lot about the importance of hydration. Quite honestly, we feel this to be a no-brainer. Honestly, you should not have to be told that proper hydration is essential for active people. But, if you really need some proof of that obvious fact, we might point you toward this study.

We can see that a number of high-level athletes were involved in this study, which was meant to measure the attitudes among athletes regarding hydration. Perhaps this knowledge is not as universal as we thought, because the majority of test subjects failed this test. It should also be noted that the highest-performing athletes did much better on the hydration test.

Eating Before Competing

Our Australian nutritionist friends tell us that it’s a good idea to eat a nutritious meal before competing. They recommend eating the meal 3-4 hours before the start of a game. This way, you have adequate time to digest the food and you won’t get muscle cramps. It is recommended that you choose foods that are relatively low in fiber and fat. Fiber and fat are a little harder to digest than carbohydrates and protein, so your pre-game meal should mainly consist of about 70% carbs to 40% protein. Eggs and toast, beef stir-fry, and baked beans are all great choices for the pre-game meal.

Some have experimented with a liquid version of the pre-game meal, as solid food is more likely to be vomited during intense exertion. When we look at the results of the trials, we can see a couple of interesting things. First, the liquid meal was just as effective as a solid meal (at least according to these researchers). Second, the pre-game meal resulted in better strength and endurance, less dryness in the mouth, and less fatigue overall.

Recovery Nutrition

After a game, your recovery nutrition is very important. At this time, you body is repairing the minor damage that it has suffered, and you need to make sure that the repairs can proceed smoothly.

Recovery nutrition should contain a decent amount of protein, and it isn’t a bad idea to supplement with some kind of amino acids. There are many amino acid supplements out there, from creatine to BCAA blends and many others. Amino acids play a crucial role in muscle repair that should not be underestimated. In fact, this study found that certain amino acids can be used as direct fuel by the body during exercise.

At the same time, you still want the majority of your diet to be carbohydrates. Baseball games can be very long and grueling, as baseball is one of the only professional sports without a time limit. Sure, a player might spend some time standing on a base or sitting on the sidelines, but these games can go on for a long time. As such, you need to front-load with lots of carbs to ensure that you have enough energy to get through those games.

From a recovery standpoint, you need to replenish the glycogen stores that you lost during the game. To put it simply, glycogen is a form of short-term energy that is usually derived from carbohydrates in the diet. Unlike fat, which is a form of stored energy, carb-produced glycogen can be used right away. That’s why a higher-carb diet is a great way to replenish your energy after a long and grueling game.

Go Heavy On The Carbs

You have probably noticed that this diet is very heavy on the carbs. The reasons for this have already been explained, so there is only one more point to make: The importance of high-quality carbohydrates. Technically, those greasy fried sticks of potato that you get at a fast-food restaurant are carbohydrates. However, they are not high-quality carbs. When you are using carbs as your primary source of energy, don’t make the mistake of thinking that any old carbs will do.

Here is a list of 12 high-carb foods that are also very nutritious in general:

  • Quinoa
  • Oats
  • Buckwheat
  • Bananas
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Beets
  • Oranges
  • Blueberries
  • Grapefruit
  • Apples
  • Kidney beans
  • Chickpeas

The Baseball Player Diet:

The following is a 7-day version of the baseball diet which has gained popularity online. A lot of people claim to have gotten good results from this diet, but we are unable to figure out its exact origin. Still, it is based on sound principles and makes an excellent starting point. We recommend that you modify this diet as needed, but only if there is a logical reason to do so.

The Baseball Player Diet

Day 1:


  • 1 bagel (preferably whole-grain)
  • 1 cup of orange juice
  • 1 piece of mozzarella string cheese
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter


One grilled chicken salad made with:

  • 3 cups of mixed vegetables (peppers, carrots, celery, onions, etc.)
  • 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil mixed with balsamic vinegar
  • 1 small box of raisins


  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 5 ounces of skinless turkey
  • 2 cups of various steamed/cooked vegetables
  • 1 teaspoon of low-fat margarine
  • 1 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt (Optional: add 1 cup of strawberries)
  • 1 cup of skim milk (optional: almond milk)

Day 2:


  • 1 cup of cereal (whole grain)
  • 1 cup skim milk (optional: almond milk)
  • 1 banana


  • 2 slices of bread (whole wheat)
  • 4 ounces of lean turkey
  • 3 ounces of pretzels (whole wheat preferred)
  • 1 orange


  • 5 ounces of lean beef or grilled chicken
  • 2 whole-grain tortillas
  • 2 cups of mixed peppers and onions
  • 1 cup of salsa

Day 3:


  • 1 English muffin (whole grain)
  • 1 tablespoon of peanut butter
  • 1 cup of orange juice


  • 3 cups of grilled salmon salad made with:
  • 1 cup of celery, carrots, peppers, and onions
  • 4 ounces of grilled or canned salmon
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil/lemon juice dressing
  • 1 piece of fruit (your choice)


  • 2 cups of whole wheat pasta
  • Pasta sauce to consist of:
  • 5 ounces of lean ground sirloin
  • 1 cup of fat-free pasta sauce
  • 1 cup onions and peppers
  • Half a cup of fat-free frozen yogurt
  • 1 slice of watermelon or a pear
  • 1 cup of low-fat milk

Day 4:


  • 2 packets of instant oatmeal
  • 1 tablespoon of ground flax seed
  • 1 cup of orange juice


Turkey sandwich made with:

  • 2 slices of bread (whole-wheat)
  • 4 ounces of turkey
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion
  • 2 tablespoons of light mayo or salad dressing (optional)
  • 1 orange


  • 2 cups of stir-fried vegetables (your choice)
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 5 ounces of lean chicken or pork
  • 1 cup of pineapple
  • 1 cup of skim milk

Day 5:


  • 1 bagel (preferably whole grain)
  • 1 tablespoon of low-fat cream cheese
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1 banana


  • 3 ounces of grilled chicken breast
  • 2 tablespoons of low-fat ranch dressing
  • 1 small box of raisins or any one piece of fruit
  • 1 whole-grain dinner roll (olive oil for dipping optional)


  • Turkey burger made with:
  • 1 bun (whole-grain)
  • 4 ounces of ground turkey
  • 1 slice of low-fat cheese
  • mustard, ketchup, lettuce, or tomato (optional)
  • 1 serving of tortilla chips
  • 1 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt
  • 1 cup of skim milk

Day 6:


  • One egg
  • 1 tablespoon of low-fat margarine
  • 2 slices of bread (whole grain)
  • 1 cup of skim milk
  • 1 banana


  • 1 cup of soup (meat-broth base preferred)
  • Turkey, ham, or chicken sandwich made with:
  • 2 slices of bread (whole wheat)
  • 4 ounces of lean turkey, ham or chicken
  • lettuce, tomato, onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of light mayo (optional)
  • 1 orange
  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • 3 ounces of pretzels (whole grain preferred)


Turkey Chili made with:

  • 3 ounces of lean ground turkey
  • 1 cup of red beans
  • 1 cup of mixed peppers and onions
  • 1 piece of cornbread

Day 7:


  • 1 cup of cereal (whole grain)
  • 1 cup of 1% milk
  • 1 orange


  • Turkey sandwich made with:
  • 2 slices of bread (whole-wheat)
  • 4 ounces of lean turkey
  • Lettuce, tomato, onion (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of light mayo or salad dressing (optional)
  • Half a can of canned fruit (your choice)
  • 1 serving of baked tortilla chips


  • 2 cups of cooked pasta (whole wheat, any kind)
  • 5 ounces of cooked skinless turkey
  • 2 cups of mixed fresh veggies (any kind)
  • 2 tablespoons of fat-free Italian dressing
  • 1 cup of low-fat frozen yogurt (1 cup of strawberries optional)
  • 1 cup of 1% milk


Post-Workout snack:

  • 8 ounces of low-fat yogurt
  • 1 banana

Post-Workout snack #2:

  • 1 protein bar (any kind)
  • 1 cup of yogurt with fresh fruit

Post-Workout Snack #3:

  • 8 ounces of yogurt with fruit
  • a small handful of granola
  • 2 scoops of protein powder (about 30 grams)

Other Acceptable Snacks:

  • Raw vegetables of any kind (hummus for dipping optional)
  • Canned pears
  • Whole-grain pretzels
  • Grapes
  • Raisins
  • Bananas
  • Celery
  • Peanut butter
  • Fruit smoothies
  • Trail mix


As you can see, this diet is not all that restrictive. It isn’t one of those diets that forces you to go into borderline-starvation mode in an attempt to lose weight. Rather, this is a nutrition program that emphasizes the need for energy and nutrients in a performance athlete who is interested in performance alone. Our goal here has been to help aspiring baseball stars to develop the nutritional habits that they need to succeed. If we have succeeded in our goal, please show your appreciation by following us on Facebook.

The post The Baseball Player Diet 101: Eating Like A Professional MLB Athlete appeared first on Gaspari Nutrition.

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