14 Jul From protein shakes to coconut rice and peas, an inside look at how an NFL safety bulks up
Colts safety Darius Butler does not look like your stereotypical football player. At 5′ 10″ and 188 pounds, he’s actually smaller than the average American man. And he doesn’t eat like those football players you might remember cleaning out the buffet in high school, either. “All my siblings were not like me when it came to eating,” Butler says. “When we’d have chicken or some wings, I’d leave so much meat on the bone that they would go back behind me and finish it.”
This summer, that appetite became another obstacle for the nine-year pro to overcome. Indianapolis is looking for Butler to be a bigger run-stopping contributor in 2017, which means Butler is looking to be, well, bigger. With training camp starting in two weeks, the safety wants to report to Indy 10 pounds heavier than normal. And he’s got chef Raul Cunningham, who has cooked for the likes of Lawrence Timmons and Amar’e Stoudemire in the past, helping him. Here’s a look at the plan they’ve developed—which includes 45 grams of protein before lunch—and how Butler manages to eat it all (or at least most of it).