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Bills TE Charles Clay Looking to Diet to Help Cut Down on His Injuries

Bills tight end Charles Clay has drastically changed his eating habits, because he is determined to find a solution, once and for all, to help cut down on the injuries with which he has dealt for most of his seven NFL seasons and all of the last three in Buffalo, Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News reports.

The tipping point came last Nov. 20, during the Bills’ 16-12 victory against the Cincinnati Bengals, when he was carted off the field in Paul Brown Stadium with a torn meniscus and sprained MCL in his left knee. Clay underwent arthroscopic surgery and missed three games. It was one of the lowest points in his career but also provided the impetus for him to seek answers beyond training methods.

With the help of the Bills’ nutritionist, Clay said he has been following a diet loaded with plant-based foods and devoid of sugar. His meals include chicken and fish, but little, if any, red meat.

“It was something I looked into all offseason, trying to keep as much inflammation out of my body as I can and eating has a lot to do with that,” Clay said after an organized team activity (OTA) workout late last week. “I feel awesome right now.”

Through his first three seasons in the league with the Miami Dolphins, 2011 to 2013, he wasn’t at all concerned about the type of food he ate. After his third year, Clay became a bit more conscious of his diet, although he was “still eating a ton of red meat, still drinking sugars, and you don’t realize how bad that is for your body.”

“Training-wise has still been the same,” Clay said. “It took me awhile to realize how big of a role food played in the way your body feels and things like that. That’s just something, as you go on, you kind of learn. You get young guys who come in here, you try to tell them, ‘Man, you shouldn’t be eating that.’ They’re like, ‘Yeah, whatever.’ I had guys early on tell me that it was something that I had to kind of try to experiment with.

“As you get older, your needs change, so you just have change what you do.”

Clay has made the changes at breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack time. In May, it’s a good-sounding plan for being proactive as a 29-year-old entering his eighth NFL season.

Whether it amounts to something greater remains to be seen.

“And who’s to say? Five years from now, you don’t say it now but in five years, it could be the best thing that happened to me because (his latest knee injury is) ultimately what led to me trying new diets and things like that. I believe everything happens for a reason.

“I feel good now. It taught me a lot.”


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