NFL

Why Players May Spend Halftime of the Super Bowl Munching on Orange Slices

Fans watching Super Bowl 55 at home will have pizza, wings, and alcohol to enjoy during the 2020-21 season’s final football game.

Those on the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers will have to go another route when they get hungry. The CBS cameras almost certainly won’t pan to Patrick Mahomes and Tyreek Hill munching on burgers after a scoring drive.

Instead, viewers may see those players eating orange slices during the Super Bowl. Yes, you read that correctly.

Orange slices are a preferred snack of NFL players

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This may come as a surprise to some, but it isn’t a great idea for athletes to be eating a ton of food during the game.

There is a reason why there has never been a table of steaks and lobsters behind the bench, even at the Super Bowl. Players don’t exactly have the time or resources to enjoy a massive dinner before running back onto the field.

That’s where orange slices come in. According to The Athletic, NFL teams are mandated to provide “three dozen sliced oranges” for the visiting team to eat during halftime.

Why are the players so into orange slices?

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The NFL has come a long way since quarterbacks were photographed smoking cigarettes on the sideline.

It isn’t difficult to point out the differences between tobacco and fruit. So what is the fascination with orange slices?

Oranges are healthy, and they provide carbs and fluids, which are always positive. Keeping players refreshed with water or a productive snack is crucial to maintaining their availability, especially late in games.

Orange slices are a staple of all levels of football. Players from Pop Warner to those participating in the Super Bowl often enjoy the snack during halftime or after a game.

If oranges have gotten players that far, who are they to quit what works? Athletes are extremely superstitious and if a certain meal has helped them for a long time, they likely won’t be so eager to trade orange slices for soup or energy bars.

What else do NFL players eat and drink during games?

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Other than orange slices, the most popular item on an NFL player’s game day menu is water. That surely won’t change during Super Bowl 55.

In a 2019 interview with CNN, Kansas City Chiefs dietitian Leslie Bonci explained that peanut butter and jelly sandwiches remain a popular pregame snack.

“Some of the guys have it with a glass of milk, just like they did in grade school … and that works as a fuel source. Some of them like to be a little bit more sophisticated or fancy with their food choices, but at the end of the day, what’s going to sit comfortably in the stomach when the stakes are high, that’s really what we’re looking for.”

Bonci said that yogurt, oatmeal, and eggs are among the other popular snacks. Players also drink smoothies, and some happily use the league-sponsored Gatorade bottles that flood the sidelines.

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