How many calories does a professional football lineman need each day? What should he eat to keep his 300-pound muscular frame in good condition? Jordan Mazur is the one who determines these nutritional choices for San Francisco 49ers players. According to nutritional sciences alumnus Mazur, a lineman needs about 4,000 to 5,000 calories of high-quality food per day, eaten at specific times throughout the day. Here is more of what he said in an interview.
What was your major in the College? When did you graduate? With what degree? I got a BS in nutritional sciences in 2012. I did the didactic program.
What class was most useful to you? Sport nutrition, an elective with Professor Nancy Rodriguez, opened my eyes to a field that appealed to me. I always knew I wanted to be in nutrition as a profession, but I realized that this was the career for me once I took the class.
Tell us some of your fond memories of UConn. I loved going to UConn basketball and football games. The year 2011, when the UConn men’s basketball team won the national championship, was an especially good year to be a fan.
I had fun spending time with close friends from the crew team and other places. Some of my UConn friends became friends for life who stayed in touch with me.
Please describe your current job. As the nutrition coordinator for the San Francisco 49ers football team, I wear many hats and oversee all aspects of nutrition for the players and staff.
For example, I work with the executive chef in planning specific and customized meal plans. I choose the menus and source the food. I want to get high-quality food that is organic, if possible. The fresh protein and produce comes from within a 100-mile radius of us. In addition, I made sure that the fueling zones (food is fuel) in the weight, locker and meeting rooms are well-stocked with snacks that help with carbohydrate recovery and performance measures.
I straddle the fence with my job by working with the strength and conditioning staff. We do performance tracking and monitoring and pay special attention to body composition, muscle mass and body fat.
A third aspect of what I do is related to sports medicine. I help with suggesting the best nutritional plan for injuries and pre- and post-surgery in order to enhance the healing process. I want to stay on top of the player’s fluid intake in order to prevent dehydration. The doctors, trainers and I monitor blood and nutrition biomarkers, as well.
I also coordinate with the logistics team for travel to away games. On the road, I try to mimic what we do nutritionally at home. Therefore, I work on the menus for what is served on the planes and in the hotels. On the trip, I take with me the special foods and drinks that the players need for post-game recovery.
Are you doing what you imagined you would be doing at this point in your life? I have always set goals for myself. My long-term goal was to work in the NFL. It is hard to believe that I made it by the age of 28!
Once I became a registered dietitian, things moved very quickly, and the hard work and networking paid off. I am now resetting my goals and am excited to see what is next.
Do you have any advice for current students that will help them in the future? 1) Set both short- and long-term goals for yourself. Having something to strive for helps you work harder.
2) Network and learn from others. Converse with people who have more experience and different experiences than you do. Be humble and admit that you don’t know everything. Build relationships. It will help you get a job.
3) Strive to be an expert in your field. Be the best. Follow new opportunities. Continue to grow.
Is there anything else you would like us to know about you? I try to get the word about good nutrition out in speaking engagements with the 49ers and by being a contributor to blogs and magazines, such as Men’s Health, Reader’s Digest and Men’s Journal. In addition, I am an advisor to several nutrition companies.
I like to be involved with volunteering and community service. For example, I am in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America. Also, I am working on a nutrition educational school program for lower income youth from suburban and inner city schools. It is important to give back and make a difference that impacts communities.
By Patsy Evans