Carlos Bocanegra was forever tired. Hungry too. And his workouts had frustratingly little effect. Three years into his professional career, he'd done well enough since being drafted fourth overall by the Chicago Fire in 2000, being named Rookie of the Year. But much of the 22-year-old central defender's potential remained untapped.
So unexpectedly, he went to see a nutritionist. Making MLS's puny entry-level salary, he was living off grocery store hot dogs with a can of chili poured over them. The nutritionist taught him how to substitute in cheap but healthy alternatives and stay hydrated.
"I saw results," Bocanegra says now. "I had more energy. I was sleeping better at night. My performances were getting better on the field. I felt stronger and dropped some body fat and gained some muscle."
Within months, Bocanegra won the first of his back-to-back MLS Defender of the Year titles and started earning regular call-ups to the US national team. "It was a real eye-opener," he says. ...