Hamilton and Harper on strange new diets

Published On February 21, 2013 | By Tyler Scionti

The offseason is often a time for ballplayers to spend time with their families, go on vacation, or take up an old hobby to use up their free time. For slugger Josh Hamilton and Nationals sensation Bryce Harper, the offseason means time to experiment with extreme diets to prepare for 2013.

Hamilton and Harper stand on two ends of the spectrum: Hamilton slimmed down in the winter months while Harper did everything he could to gain weight for the 2013 season.

Hamilton showed up to Spring Training having lost 20 pounds due to a juice diet. When asked what happened over the winter Hamilton responded he “did the juicing stuff.” H said the diet helps him practice mental and emotional discipline.

Hamilton is no stranger to self-restraint; his career nearly went into oblivion as he spiraled into drug use. He turned things around though, and said God has called him to fast before the 2013 season so that he can prepare both his mind and body.

“The Lord kept waking me up in the middle of the night over a month and every time I’d wake up there’d be a doctor on talking about what you put in your body and how it makes you feel” Hamilton said.

Hamilton started hot in 2012 but quickly tailed off in the second half. With his newfound discipline and healthy, lifestyle maybe Hamilton will have the mental toughness to play hard through his first full season with the Angels.

Bryce Harper is on a completely different end of the spectrum than Hamilton. The rookie outfielder has been packing on the pounds over the winter in order to make it through his second season. Harper belted 22 home runs in 2012; however, the long season took its toll on the young outfielder. Now he has shown up to camp having gained 20 pounds in preparation for the 2013 season.

Harper works out for nearly two hours a day, four days a week to add bulk. His lifting regiment is something carried over from his high school days, and serves another purpose in addition to making him stronger.

“It gives me a good time to relax and hang out and clear my mind,” Harper said. “Lifting and stuff really helps me clear my mind. I love it.”

In addition to working out, he said he eats nearly everything in sight.

“I just eat as much as I can,” Harper explained. “I don’t really care. I don’t really have a diet. I’m still going to eat Fruity Pebbles and Captain Crunch and all these cereals at 12 o’clock at night. I don’t really care.”

These are two different players with two drastically different offseason diets; we will just have to wait and see what 2013 has in store for Hamilton and Harper as they hope to lead their respective teams to victory this season.

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