In a move that could signal a shift in the importance the NFL places on the health of its players, the Green Bay Packers have hired a full-time nutritionist, reported PackersNews.com.
Adam Korzun will be the team’s first director of performance nutrition — in the past the team consulted with outside nutritionists. Korzun will oversee the food in the team’s cafeteria and advise players individually on their diets.
"His main thing was tell us not only what to eat, but when to eat it," receiver Jordy Nelson told PackersNews.com. "I'm sure there's certain things you're supposed to eat at certain times. You're probably not supposed to have protein shakes in the middle of the day but more as a recovery after working out. Or if it's food, after a workout, eat more of this, for dinner eat more of this. He'll get a feel for how the cafeteria is set up and then we'll continue to get informed."
While the trend of professional sports teams working with nutrition consultants has been around since the 90s, the Packers’ effort to bring on a full-time staffer comes after years of intense scrutiny about the way the NFL handles injuries.
The league has taken some hits over the last decade as former players continue to speak out about the brain damage they’ve suffered as a result of concussions and other poorly treated injuries throughout their careers.
The Packers provide all meals for players during training camp and most players eat at least breakfast and lunch at the team’s facilities during the season. The team recently built a cafeteria adjacent to the locker room at Lambeau Field.
Prior to joining the Packers since the start of training camp, Korzun was the director of sports nutrition for the University of Oregon’s athletic department.