Andrew Luck is as American as apple pie, with a tendency toward completions that can bring more people to their feet than a Fourth of July fireworks show. But when it comes to actual apple pie, you won’t find any in the Colts quarterback’s fridge. “I don’t think it’s sophisticated, but it is a little Eurocentric,” says the 24-year-old Luck of his diet, which is comprised in part of fancy chocolate, stinky cheeses, and other Old World favorites.
Why such European tastes for the young Stanford grad, the first overall draft pick for Indianapolis in 2012? Luck says he had a different diet growing up in England and Germany, where his father, former Houston Oilers quarterback Oliver Luck, worked for NFL Europe for nine years. And while some of Luck’s choices—duck prosciutto, for example—may sound more suitable to a French polo player than to a 6-4, 240-pound NFL star, no Indianapolis fan is likely to question Luck’s nutrition, especially after the Washington, D.C., native finished last season with the NFL’s all-time record for the most passing yards ever recorded by a quarterback in his first two seasons (a whopping 8,196 yards). Perhaps more players should add a little duck prosciutto and dark chocolate to their diets.
Chocolate: Young Luck-wannabes take note: The two-time Pro Bowler eats chocolate every day—but not just anything from the candy aisle will do. “I don’t like candy bars,” he says. “I eat the big rectangular bars. You know—anything between 85 and 50 percent cocoa.” High-cocoa chocolate, a fondness for which Luck credits to his European youth, means less sugar and more inflammation-fighting nutrients than regular candy bars. Still, the quarterback, who has thrown for 46 touchdowns in his two seasons, wonders if his daily intake exceeds the normal parameters for good health. “I think chocolate in moderation is not bad for you, but I eat way too much,” he says. “I tell myself I’m going to eat two squares and then I end up eating half a big bar.”
BODYARMOR: Bottles of this relatively new electrolyte-replacement drink take up the most real estate in Luck’s fridge, where he keeps them on hand for quick rehydration during and after his workouts every day. “My favorite flavors are strawberry banana, grape and orange mango,” he says. “I have them in my fridge 99 percent of the time.” Luck’s supply is rarely lacking because, not only is he sponsored by the sports beverage company, he is also a stakeholder, along with Kobe Bryant and Richard Sherman.
Stinky cheese: Blue cheese, Brie, Gouda, Muenster—Luck says he likes all kinds of cheeses, especially the stinky ones. “I’m a sucker for cheese,” he says. “I figure it’s a European thing to eat cheese and crackers before a meal—that’s my afternoon snack or I do it before dinner. Or I’ll mix in some cheese with an omelet in the morning if I’m not eating at the facility.”
Duck prosciutto: This specialty food hasn’t always been part of Luck’s menu, but open his icebox and you’ll find some thinly sliced pieces of cured waterfowl in his fridge today. Luck says he recently stumbled on the delicacy during one of his regular trips to his butcher in Indianapolis. “I enjoy asking the folks working there what they recommend,” he says. “And it’s good, maybe a little saltier than other thinly cut meats. I eat it with cheese and crackers.”
Beer: Luck likes beer, but in a nod to his Old World upbringing, the quarterback says he prefers small-label microbrews over the big-brand stuff. “Sun King and Flat 12—those are some local breweries where you can go and get fresh beer,” he says of his favorite Indianapolis-based microbrews. None of this is to say the Colts star is throwing back microbrews nightly. “I’ll have a beer like maybe once a week,” he says. “I enjoy watching sporting events and drinking a beer.”
Baked beans: Baked beans are one of the few American classics you can find in Luck’s kitchen. Yet the way the former Cardinal eats them is hardly typical: They’re part of breakfast, along with a list of other high-protein foods. “Breakfast is so important, so I’ll make an omelet with cheese and deli meats, and then I’ll eat muesli and yogurt mixed with fruit or oatmeal with fruit—and then a side of baked beans,” Luck says. Does he really need the beans with the eggs, meat, cheese, cereal, and fruit? “They’re good protein, good fiber, good for you,” he says.