No, Fruit Roll-Ups weren’t the cause of Dexter Fowler’s stomach issues earlier this season. (After a strong start, the Houston Astros centerfielder missed four games when he was hospitalized with gastroenteritis). But the colorful snack is one of the his favorite foods and a surprising aberration in his self-described healthy, all-organic diet. “I’m a health nut,” says Fowler, who was traded to Houston last year after six seasons with the Colorado Rockies. “With my body, I can eat anything I want. But I don’t because it doesn’t make me feel good.” The 6-foot-4, 195-pound player still goes for a chicken sandwich with special sauce and waffle fries at Chick-fil-A on occasion. But most of the territory in Fowler’s refrigerator is taken up with organic green vegetables, lean meats, and his protein-power shake of choice, Muscle Milk.
Muscle Milk: This high-protein, ready-to-drink shake is the first thing Fowler names when asked what’s in his fridge. “I drink a lot of it,” he admits. “I’m a skinnier guy, and it helps me so I’m not at 175 pounds by the end of the season.” The career .271 hitter, who in 2010 led the National League in triples with 14, says that he drinks up to three shakes per day in his favorite flavor, vanilla crème. “It’s the best. It tastes like a milkshake,” Fowler says.
Johnny Walker: Fowler’s favorite adult drink became national news after the centerfielder gave Yankee Derek Jeter a bottle of Johnny Walker Double Black when the two teams met in early April. The gift was reportedly to thank Jeter for being an inspiration on the occasion of the Yank’s retirement, but Fowler also gave each of his Astros teammates a bottle of the high-end whiskey for opening day. “They loved it,” he says. “I don’t know who doesn’t like the Double Black label.” Fowler says he averages one drink per week, taking his Johnny Walker on the rocks with lime.
Fruit snacks: Long before Fowler developed a taste for Muscle Milk and Johnny Walker, he was consuming Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit By The Foot—a dietary habit he still maintains. “Growing up, my brother and I ate fruit snacks,” the Atlanta native says. “These were our sweets.” Fairly low in calories and made from fruit juice, they aren’t the worst of sweets to eat, but Fowler says he doesn’t worry about sugar. “I eat clean most of the time,” the 28-year-old says. “A little sugar won’t hurt.” His favorite flavor? Fowler says he likes them all. “I don’t discriminate. The ‘mystery flavor?’ I eat all of that,” he says.
Polynesian sauce: Fowler’s preferred condiment isn’t just any Polynesian sauce, but a signature sweet-and-sour dip from Chick-fil-A, his favorite fast-food chain. “That’s the best fast-food restaurant you can go to if you eat healthy,” he says. “It’s not processed meat.” Fowler says he likes to order a Number 1—or grilled chicken sandwich—with waffle fries, an eight-count chicken nugget, and half sweet tea-half lemonade. “I ask for extra Polynesian sauce, so I can keep it at home,” he says. “I love the taste. I can’t really describe it—it’s unbelievable.”
Strawberries: For Fowler, dessert isn’t cookies or cake—it’s a bowl of organic strawberries with a little sugar on top. “They’re unbelievable with sugar,” the 2008 USA Olympic team member says. “If you haven’t tried it, you have to. It’s way better than other desserts.” Fowler also appreciates that his best-loved dessert is high in antioxidants. “I love berries,” he says. “I’m not a huge junk-food person.”
Green tea HP: Fowler doesn’t drink this flavored water, but the powder-based drink has taken up space in his family’s fridge ever since his wife, Aliya, gave birth to their first baby girl, Naya, in January. “ She drinks it to get energy and help her lose the baby weight,” the new father says. “I tried it, and it tastes good. But I don’t need to lose weight, so I stay away from it.”
Green vegetables: Kale, broccoli, green beans, Brussels sprouts, and other green vegetables are in regular rotation in Fowler’s daily diet. “Green vegetables are where I get all my nutrients,” the Houston centerfielder says. “They give you energy, and they help break down all the meat you eat.” Fowler’s favorite vegetable is broccoli, which he prefers steamed with a little butter. “It’s the easiest vegetable for me to eat, and I don’t like it with cheese.” An added bonus for his health, all vegetables in Fowler’s fridge are pesticide-free. “My wife makes me eat all-organic,” he laughs. “We go to Whole Foods a lot.”