GQ

Ravens Tight End Mark Andrews has a support team that monitors his blood sugar

Elevations vary. I can usually smell ecstasy, which is strange to say [laughs]. It’s like ammonia or something similar to that. After that, it just feels lethargic.

Being a type 1 diabetic, there are a lot of things involved. Every day is not the same, but the more I have a routine with what I eat and drink, the better. I know how many carbs, how much sugar is in each food, how much protein I’m getting, and I know how that’s going to affect my body. I am able to manage that and give myself insulin prior to that to a very precise level. It also helps my body. I know when my body feels strong and healthy, and my diabetes is usually better too.

What do typical breakfast, lunch and dinner meals look like to you?

First, I start the day with a Rockin’ protein. I’ll have a banana, some eggs and some oatmeal. This is my morning routine. Normally, I’ll go to the workout, and I’ll get another rockin’ protein. Obviously, I spend a lot of calories, do a lot of things throughout the day and am a pretty big person who needs a lot of protein. My lunch is usually a little lighter. I’ll have some rice and chicken and some fruit before we go to training. Post-workout, it’s another rockin’ protein. For dinner, I try to stay clean, but it’s definitely the biggest meal I have because I have to make up for what I lost. I go for rice, salmon or chicken. Salad, preferably, especially if you have eaten fruit earlier. Before I go to bed, I take another Rockin’ protein.

With all the data you have from a performance perspective, was there a food you had to throw out because you felt like it?

I have noticed that I prefer to eat salmon, chicken and turkey. I think I’m a little slower if I eat red meat and play the next day. I don’t think I’m fast or fussy if I don’t eat a bit of the cleaner. I think red meat weighs me down and that’s what makes me so selective and overly focused on my body. But I don’t have many things that affect me like that.

What game day rituals do you have to do to make sure you are comfortable when you step on the field?

I am a somewhat superstitious person. I wake up and the main thing is my mind. I try to keep my sanity right. I try to think of the right things and try to do the right things. I thank God for putting me in the situation I am in now. Playing this beautiful sport for a living and being able to put my family’s name on the back of a T-shirt is incredible. There is so much I can play for, so many people I can play with. There is an entire diabetes community that I can carry with me. On game days I can think about it but also do the right things when I check my numbers. When the match comes, that’s my business. It is my duty to myself to play at the highest level and to show people that they can do that with type 1 diabetes as well. I’m totally aware of what’s going on with my body and I’m so locked up in those days.

What is your central message to diabetics?

If you’ve just been diagnosed and you’re struggling, just know that you’re not alone, and that’s the most important thing. There are other people going through the same thing that you are. It will be a change and there will be things in your life that will be different, you may be a little different from someone else, but that’s okay just keep fighting and keep fighting every day. Don’t lose that fight or hunger.


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