Fans Left Speechless After JJ Watt’s Sudden Decision To Quit The Leauge…Find Out Why! See How He Tackled Dieting Off Field While Injured

 Professional athletes don’t get to the top by accident. It takes superhuman levels of time, dedication, and focus—and that includes paying attention to what they put in their bellies. In this series, GQ takes a look at what pro athletes in different sports eat on a daily basis to perform at their best. Here’s a look at the 5,000+ calorie diet of Texans defensive end J.J. Watt.

From hosting the CMT awards to eating raw egg on Jimmy Fallon(not a euphemism for anything) to going through firefighter training for Gatorade’s Beat the Heat program*, J.J. Watt is a seriously busy fella. That’s all in addition to racking up three NFL Defensive Player of the Year awards, setting the Texans franchise records for both sacks and forced fumbles, and, well, eating. A lot.

To hear him talk about it, eating might even be the toughest thing he has to do each day. “It sounds weird when you complain about having to eat so much,” he says, “but it’s like a job. I eat two breakfasts, two lunches, and two dinners throughout the day. It’s always eating.”

* PLUG ALERT: There’s also the J.J. Watt Foundation, which provides $2 million for athletics programs for middle schoolers.

The 6-foot-5, 289-pound defensive end day starts with about 900 calories of oatmeal and a half-dozen eggs. Then a second breakfast a few hours later with another four or five eggs, meaning he goes through nearly a carton a day. That’s Gaston levels of breakfasting.

Which makes sense, because as a defensive lineman, Watt needs a lot of mass and a lot of calories—upwards of 5,000 a day. But he’s been doing this long enough that he’s stopped counting and operates more by feel. “I’m not strict on my calorie count, I just pay attention to my body. Over the years I’ve learned a lot about nutrition and about myself, so it’s a lot more based on feel,” he says. “I stopped putting a number on it because people were analyzing it too much.”

Family is a big deal for Watt, which should make this season interesting since his brother has been drafted to the San Diego Chargers. Though they’ll never be on the field at the same time, Watt admits that they’re both relishing the rivalry. “We were extremely competitive with each other growing up. My parents knew that us pushing each other would be better than any motivation we could get out in the real world, so I think in the end it made us better and stronger.”