As the second half of the MLB season heats up, SI Eats chatted with Anthony Rizzo, first baseman for the World Champion Chicago Cubs, about what he likes to eat, his pregame rituals, how he stays hydrated before games, and more. (His answers below have been edited for clairty.)
Tim Kiernan: Do you have a pre-game meal that you stick with?
Anthony Rizzo: Not really to be honest. I try to eat a good breakfast before day games, and then before the games I try to really not eat that much. I kind of like to play on a lighter stomach. It really just depends on that day. I'm not very superstitious. I don't need to have anything before the game.
TK: What about a go-to breakfast or lunch?
AR: For breakfast, I'll usually just stick with eggs. Keep it light. Lunch, I like a sandwich most of the time. Maybe some chips. Really just trying to keep everything light, try not to overeat and stuff myself to where I can't move. There'll be days when I enjoy some food a little more than others, but I always try to keep it more on the cleaner side.
TK: What's your favorite food?
AR: Oh, my favorite food...I'd probably say Italian food. I grew up in a big Italian family so I like to eat.
TK: Any dish in particular?
AR: I like just pasta, pasta and sauce. Pretty basic. It's pretty much always been my favorite food growing up and to date. I mean I like all food, I'm really not picky.
TK: Do you have any specific cheat food or one thing that you can't say no to?
AR: I gotta have Taco Bell every once in a while just to keep me sane, but other than that I mean that's really it. That's probably my one go to I'd say that I need at least once a month.
TK: Do you have a least favorite food?
AR: I really don't. I pretty much enjoy everything. I'll try anything. I don't really stay away from any particular food.
TK: What do you think about guys like Tom Brady who have really extreme diets and regiments that they follow religiously?
AR: You know, I think there's a lot of crazy extremes. Every individual is different. Just because one guy does something doesn't mean it's going to work for the next. But I mean there's something to be said about eating clean and eating healthy and keeping your body in the best shape you can for as long as your career as an athlete and even longer than that. I mean studies show, if you try to live a healthy life, you're going to live longer and be healthy. I enjoy food too much to give up everything and stick to one certain diet, but I think if you can stick to portions and control yourself then I don't see any problem with it. Anything you can do in moderation.
TK: What's your plan on how to balance your diet after you retire?
AR: I think you really need to just control your portions. It's so easy to just eat, eat, eat until you're full when you're playing, but especially when you're not playing, those pounds will sneak up quick on you because you just aren't doing the same activity that you're used to. Even if you're still active, you're still not as active as you used to be. It's something you've got to be conscious of. It's easy to gain 10 or 15 pounds quick, it's not easy to lose it that quick.
TK: Do you have a favorite meal of the day? Breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
AR: I'd probably say dinner. There's so much variety there. You can mix lunch in with dinner, have breakfast for dinner sometimes.
TK: How do you hydrate when you're working out and on the field?
AR: I mean that's very important, and that's one of the beauties of being with BodyArmor. I don't know if you've tried their sports drink, but their water—I'm not even saying this because I'm with them—is the best water there is in my opinion. I don't know what's different about it, but it just tastes really good. I really hydrate on that a lot, and then during work outs and a game I'll always be sipping on one of the BodyArmor drinks because I feel like they just keep my levels where they need to be.
TK: Do you like pizza at all?
AR: Do I like pizza? Yeah, I feel like that'd be very un-American if I didn't.
TK: Yeah, I figured. Do you have a favorite pizza city?
AR: I'd have to say Chicago, being here in this city. The deep dish here is really good. New York is probably a close second. Whenever we go to New York, I make sure to get a couple slices.