NBA

Why Tyler Herro’s Diet Drives the Heat’s Nutritionist Crazy

From pregame smoothies to cups of coffee, salads to chicken breasts, professional athletes often treat their meals as fuel for the game they are about to play. After all, different foods can react with the human body to promote energy, endurance, concentration, and so much more. One would think that every athlete in the NBA would be taking that approach, but Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro has a different approach. 

Who is Tyler Herro?

Tyler Herro made a name for himself where so many young NBA players do before their professional careers — at Kentucky under the guidance of John Calipari. Although he was there for only one season, Herro made his name for the Wildcats team that made it to the Elite Eight despite lacking as much NBA talent as one might expect from Calipari’s team. 

In 37 games, Herro showed an ability to score from anywhere, shooting well over 50% from two-point range and a respectable 35% from behind the three-point line. Herro could also rebound, grabbing nearly five a game, and his playmaking wasn’t too shabby, either, with 2.5 assists. At 6-foot-5, Herro showed that he was a multidimensional talent who could flourish in the right NBA environment. The Miami Heat were that environment. 

Herro heads to Miami

The Heat, who barely missed the playoffs the previous season, drafted Tyler Herro with the 13th overall pick of the 2019 draft. With Dwyane Wade gone and a new franchise player in Jimmy Butler, the Heat have given Herro the perfect chance to thrive as a role player. Through 37 games, he is averaging 14 points, four rebounds, and two assists per game off the bench.

At 6-foot-5 and 195 pounds, one might think that Herro was doing it with a strict diet, but his pregame meal is one that would send most of us down for the count before we played a game. 

What Tyler Herro eats drives the Heat’s nutritionist crazy

Miami Heat rookie Tyler Herro is a rising NBA star, but he sure doesn't eat like one.
Tyler Herro pulls up for a shot. | Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Tyler Herro is only 19 years old, and he has the metabolism to prove it. He bypasses the typical healthy fare that some might expect from athletes such as LeBron James for some rich, creamy chicken Alfredo noodles to go along with steak and mashed potatoes. According to an interview Herro gave to GQ, that has been a tradition since he was still in high school. 

Contrary to what it may imply, the Heat do have a nutritionist who works with him to ensure he eats well. The team’s nutritionist, Betsy Berthin, does not approve of his pregame meal, however, and she tells him that she does not want him to do that. Between the carb-infested pasta and potatoes to the fatty steak, the meal is filled with things that Herro may not want to eat before running out there for 48 minutes. 

As far as the pasta goes, however, Herro isn’t the only person who swears by pregame pasta. 

Herro’s ally in pregame pasta

While not as rich as chicken Alfredo and mashed potatoes, Tyler Herro has a fellow pasta-eater in the league in Steph Curry. While the Currys’ familial relationship with food is not well-documented, some might expect a svelt presence such as Curry to endure a strict diet, especially in the early part of his thirties. Curry, however, does a carb overload before the game with some of his wife, Ayesha’s, spaghetti. 

Where Curry gets it right, however, is in a veggie-based sauce that is not nearly as rich. The carbs in the noodles help a player who is remaining active, but Herro’s creamy, cheesy, sides could do harm when he loses that teenage metabolism. Until that goes, however, fans watching the game can know that the thin backup shooting guard is out there on a belly full of Alfredo and mashed potatoes.