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Why a Pro Athlete’s Doctor Is Prescribing Him Potato Chips

Are your muscles aching? Take a cue from Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, who was recently prescribed greasy, salty, snacky potato chips by his doctor for health reasons.
Photo via Flickr user Matt deTurck

Hitting the gym before sun rises. Sweating it out on the practice field for two-a-days. Living your life like you're in a Nike ad. Professional athletes hone their bodies like real-life Adonises, foregoing pleasures of the palate for action-figure proportions and top performance.

It would do us mere mortals good to take some health pointers from a pro athlete. That is, unless you're Chicago Cubs pitcher Jason Hammel, who was recently prescribed none other than greasy, salty, snacky potato chips by his doctor.


Jason Hammel is getting paid $9 million dollars this year to throw balls really fast and to saunter up to the plate every once in a while to give batting a go. Now, he's got to eat a lot of potato chips, too, after his doc recommended that he eat more of them to help alleviate his cramps. Pretty sweet (or rather salty) deal.

RECIPE: Homemade Potato Chips

"For my cramps, if it's a chronic thing, [my doctor] said, 'Potato chips,' because they have a lot of potassium and obviously the sea salt helps retain water," Hammel said in a press conference. "So I focused on that over the break and ate a lot of potato chips, and I think it turned out pretty well. Potato chips prescription—PCP—that's what I'm going to try to go with."

Hammel had been on a bit of a skid, winning just six of his last 11 games. After he had to exit a July 7 game when his hand started to cramp, he got a call from the team doc to address the recurring problem. The doc then gave him the best prescription ever, and over the All-Star break, he started eating shitloads of potato chips.

On Saturday, after a week of hard munching, Hammel won his first game back. He credits the potato chips for the win, which he was also eating between innings.

Decisions, decisions…??@UtzSnacks????@kettlebrand

— Jason Hammel (@HammelTime39) July 17, 2016

To be fair, not all pro athletes are paragons of healthy eating, nor do they follow some nutso Tom Brady diet. While training for the Olympics, swimmer Michael Phelps famously ate 12,000 calories each day in the forms of pounds of pasta, chocolate-chip pancakes, pizza, and thousands of calories of energy drinks. And though he's still working toward his pro wrestling dream, rapper Riff Raff can tell you a thing or two about getting jacked on Five Guys four times a day. But the rare distinction of eating potato chips for health purposes goes to Hammel.

READ MORE: Nobody Takes My Chip Addiction Seriously

No word on what was the chip of choice for Hammel, but hopefully he can turn the whole situation into an endorsement deal. Let Steph Curry score the Under Armour endorsements—it's way cooler to be sponsored by Pringles.