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The Secret to an NFL Pro Bowl Lineman's Post-Career Fitness

The Secret to an NFL Pro Bowl Lineman's Post-Career Fitness

For 9 NFL seasons, Eric Wood focused on keeping his weight over 300 pounds to create as much of an advantage over defenders as possible. "As an offensive lineman, you get paid to be big," says Wood. "It was a balance of getting enough calories to maintain weight, but not eating the wrong types of foods where you feel sluggish."

After retiring from football in 2018 due to a career-ending neck injury, his number 1 priority was to lose weight. Since then, he's lost 65 pounds and is focused on living a long, healthy and active life. "I remember sitting with my wife’s grandmother in Naples, Florida at their church service one Sunday during my playing career," recalls Wood."Most of the congregation was over the age of 80, and the thing that stuck out to both of us was how much bigger, especially heavier, I was than everyone else there. I strive to make sure I can be there for my family for a long time, so I felt that losing the weight was necessary."

Fueling for Fitness

Wood made some key changes to his diet to help him lose weight, including restricting his eating window to 8 hours a day and reducing his consumption of simple carbohydrates and processed foods. "I became more aware of sugar intake throughout my playing career," says Wood. "I focus on getting fuel to be able to perform and maintain muscle without creating inflammation."

Today, Wood is an avid golfer, still works out, and loves being active with his young kids. While some of the habits he picked up as a pro no longer serve him in retirement, there are certain healthy habits that he continues to follow on his fitness journey. "I no longer eat around the clock," says Wood, "but I continue to fuel with UCAN because it's a great source of quality carbs that keep your blood sugar stable."

UCAN is an integral part of Wood's diet for healthy, all-day energy to accomplish the various passions he’s pursuing in this next phase. "It's how I start every day." Wood's morning breakfast smoothie bowl includes ingredients blended into pudding-like consistency:

  • UCAN Energy + Protein
  • unsweetened coconut milk
  • big handful of spinach
  • 1/2 avocado
  • Frozen blueberrues
  • cacao nibs/coconut flakes (optional)

When he's on the golf course, Wood relies on UCAN Energy Bars to fuel him, and he uses the UCAN Energy Powder before his workouts.

UCAN for Performance

As an NFL player, Wood relied on UCAN for long-lasting, stomach-friendly energy to achieve peak performance. He was originally introduced to UCAN by Will Greenberg, Assistant Strength & Conditioning Coach with the Buffalo Bills. The team would provide bananas and peanut butter & jelly sandwiches to the players, but it didn't sit well in Wood's stomach. He found UCAN to be a great alternative to sugary products and foods. "UCAN was much easier for me to digest, so I relied on it for energy before practice and on game days."

Wood's game day routine included a serving of UCAN Energy Powder the morning of the game, a second serving pre-game, and a third serving at halftime. "The goal for an offensive lineman is to never come out of the game the entire time. With UCAN, I never felt like I had to hold anything back. You can give max effort every play without working about dips in energy."

Follow Eric on Instagram and get inspired on your own fitness journey by listening to the What's Next with Eric Wood podcast.

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