S3 EPISODE 28 - Pre-Season Fueling and Return-to-Play Nutrition in the NFL w/ Pratik Patel MS RD

In Season 3, Episode 28 Dr. Bubbs interviews Pratik Patel, the Director of Nutrition and Assistant Strength Coach for the NFL’s New York Giants. In this episode, Pratik talks about his circuitous route to working in high  performance and his early experience in leading an elite collegiate nutrition program. He also shares his philosophy and strategies on pre-season nutrition and supplementation in the NFL, position specific changes in body composition, and the nutrition plan may change in-season. Pratik also discusses injury nutrition, ‘cheat days’, and the biggest challenges in building player buy-in with respect to nutrition.


4:00 – Pratik’s background and circuitous route to performance and exercise

14:30 – Pratik’s experience in leading an elite collegiate nutrition program

22:00 – Pre-Season fueling in the NFL

25:30 – Position specific changes in body composition

30:00 – Pre-season supplementation

32:30 – How does the nutrition plan change in-season?

35:30 – Strategies when players eat out or on the road

38:30 – Supporting a big roster with frequent athlete turnover

44:00 – Return to play and injury nutrition

48:00 – Biggest challenges in building player buy-in

About Pratik Patel, MS, RD

Pratik is in his 3rd season with the Giants and 10th year as a Sports Dietitian, one of the few people to hold dual full-time roles as the Giants Sports Dietitian (overseeing all nutritional aspects for the team) and as an Assistant Strength and Conditioning Coach.  Pratik is also the first south Asian and minority on a professional coaching staff in this capacity. At the collegiate level, Pratik spent seven years working at Kansas State, Michigan State, and the University of Oregon where he had the opportunity to build, grow, and integrate sports nutrition departments from the ground up and worked with numerous championship winning teams across a number of sports.  Pratik also conducted one of the first High Intensity Functional Training (HIFT) studies which has since spawned a growth of research at Kansas State in the Functional Intensity Training lab in a number of different populations including the US Army.

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