According to a U.S. Department of Agriculture report from 2000, the average American consumed 2,700 calories a day.
The “New York Post” reported that Gold medalist Olympic swimmer Michael Phelps devours around 12,000 calories a day during training.
While Phelps does not swim for California Baptist University, students might notice that athletes on campus take the all-you-can-eat cafeteria literally.
Senior defender Willie Rupert has a reputation for his large appetite after running around on the soccer field.
“I eat six meals a day – three big ones and three small ones,” Rupert said.
Head Coach Ryan Jorden encourages his players to eat a lot of food in order to create the energy needed to run the field every game.
As an All-Golden State Athletic Conference (GSAC) player, Rupert dominates opponents, including the food that gets in his way. Some players wait till after a game to eat, but Rupert takes any chance he can get.
“At halftime, I will have a Clif Bar or some type of bar that I can eat,” Rupert said. “I don’t like to play on an empty stomach at all. If I could have it my way, I’d eat right before we start training.”
Rupert said he can sense when he is going to be hungry during pregame and tries to plan accordingly.
Rupert loves his mom’s meatloaf, mashed potatoes and pulled pork sandwiches, but when he is away from his Arizona home, he enjoys eating the popular CBU Bowl in the Alumni Dining Commons (ADC). He also grills burgers and chicken on a George Foreman grill if he can’t get to the ADC.
When not on the field, Rupert also does crossfit training, which is taxing on his body. To maintain the energy he needs, Rupert eats a diet of meats and green vegetables, avoiding complex carbs found in breads and similar foods.
“I used to eat whatever, but now I’ve been working out and doing crossfit … no breads, no bad carbs, no complex carbs,” Rupert said.
Surprisingly, Rupert is not the biggest player on the team. Standing at 5 feet 10 inches tall and only weighing about 160 pounds, Rupert turns heads with the amount he eats.
Also one of the smaller players on the field, 5-feet-7 inch senior infielder Cole Bullard of the baseball team has a reputable appetite and loads up trays when eating in the ADC so he can maximize his food intake during each sitting.
“One full load – you know the big square [trays], not the ones that cut you off at the edges. Sometimes, I’ll go back for seconds if I like the food,” Bullard said.
A big fan of the pasta stations, Bullard likes to load up on carbohydrates.
His teammates see him as one of the bigger eaters because they know how hard he works. Now weighing in at 175 pounds, Bullard’s eating habits, along with many hours in the weight room, have helped him gain 35 pounds since his freshman year.
Bullard’s love for food includes his mom’s tacos and burritos from local Mexican restaurant Alberto’s.
“Alberto’s is great after midnight,” Bullard said.