Those who follow Arik Armstead on TikTok, more than 1.5 million of us, know that the San Francisco 49ers defensive lineman is a big guy that eats even larger. During a recent interview, M&F uncovered the intense training that the 29-year-old goes through in order to hang as an elite NFL athlete, but we also wanted to know more about just how those epic training and workout sessions are fueled.

Recently, Armstead posted a video that went viral, detailing a day in his life as relates to eating so, we followed up feverishly with some questions on food, soon finding out that this giant approaches mealtimes with the same passion that he displays while making an impact on the football field.

“It definitely is a full-time job in terms of a nutrition plan, and cooking,” says Armstead. “I’ve had various chefs and meal prep people throughout the years, so it’s definitely a lot of work.” Eating all of those calories is also a lot of work on his end too, but fortunately the multiple time Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year nominee is a self-professed “foodie” and loves to make fun out of his feasts. And that’s just as well, since a player can easily burn around 600 calories per hour on the field in a game or in training, and then there’s those gruelling gym sessions to factor in, since Armstead often hits the gym twice each day.


Is this more or less than you thought it would be? #nfldiet #whatieatinaday #bodybuildingdiet #nfloffseason

♬ Aesthetic – Tollan Kim

Arik Armstead’s Diet Plan


  • 2 pieces of peanut butter on toast
  • 4 scrambled eggs
  • 2 cups of fruit

Example Snack:

  • Smoked chicken wings with assorted dips
  • Mixed salad and fruit with dressing
  • 1 gallon of water


  • Ahi tuna
  • Seaweed Salad
  • Rice


  • Mixed salad with dressing
  • Vegetables
  • Potatoes
  • Steak with sauce

Total Daily Caloric Intake: 5,500 calories

How Arik Armstead Consumes 5,500 Calories Per Day

Hovering between 290 and 300 pounds, the hulking defensive lineman consumes almost triple the number of recommended calories for men as suggested by the FDA. Of course, Armstead is not your average Joe. He needs an abundance of protein, carbohydrates, and healthy fats in order for him to build strength, feel energized, and recover in order to tackle the next day. The man-mountain gets this fuel from whole foods such as unprocessed meat, rice, and leafy salads and doesn’t partake in sugary desserts during the week. Given the kinds of foods that he is eating such as tuna, eggs, lean meat, and salads, it can be difficult to comprehend how his intake can add up to such a high calorific total, but when you factor in dressings, dips, and sauces, and account for at least 2 snacks per day, plus shakes and supplements, that figure doesn’t seem so outlandish after all.

“I live by the 80/20 rule,” Armstead tells M&F. “I’m 80% clean eating, and 20% I enjoy myself. I’ll go out and eat, and I don’t have a problem with that. I enjoy my cheat meals as well.” When asked to imagine his perfect cheat meal, the 49er shared that one of his favorite restaurants is Nobu. “I would order, like fifteen items off of their menu and find some chocolate chip cookies with some oat milk to finish off the evening,” he says of the epic fantasy order. With Nobu offering up culinary delights such as oysters, lobster, steak, and an incredible array of desserts, this writer was quick to offer his services if the footballing foodie ever needs some company over dinner, just so long he gets the check after a gigantic meal like that of course. “I got you,” Armstead replies to my delight. Now, footballer versus food is an experience I would love to witness first hand!

Follow Arik Armstead on TikTok and check out his new weekly podcast where he breaks down the 49ers’ games: “Third and Long.”