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Throughout baseball’s long history, fans at games have typically drunk beer while snacking on peanuts and hot dogs. Behind the scenes, things weren’t much different. The game’s athletes were often fueled by pizza, hot dogs and nachos in the clubhouse, and all-you-can-chew quantities of bubble gum and sunflower seeds in the dugout.
But as the game has become increasingly scientific, so has the baseball diet. Spare a thought for the Philadelphia Phillies’ old nacho cheese pump, as they and several other teams got rid of that crowd pleaser. Of course, some traditions are harder to abandon: The Atlanta Braves got rid of their soft-serve ice cream machine, which was a good-luck charm of sorts during their run to last year’s World Series title. But a new machine was recently installed in the clubhouse by popular demand.
After the 162-game grind of the regular season ended Wednesday, Major League Baseball dived right into its postseason, which started Friday and will extend into November. To help players get through such a long season, many teams have replaced pregame junk food with macronutrient-rich meals; dugout candy with fruit, jerky, Kind bars, Honey Stinger waffles or sugar-free gum; and water and Gatorade coolers with bespoke hydration drinks tailored to each player’s sodium sweat loss.
“Junk food and corn syrup do not provide quality nutrients for adequate recovery,” explained Alexa Scully, the Phillies’ dietitian, who oversees a dugout menu of almonds, dried mango, beef jerky, string cheese and peanut butter pretzels. “When carbs are mixed with a little bit of fat, fiber or protein, this helps keep blood glucose from spiking and provides sustainable energy over a longer period of time.”
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