Hockey fans were shocked and quite frankly a little appalled after learning details about Ottawa Senators defenseman Jakob Chychrun’s extreme diet, which includes things like “eating raw liver” and “raw beef heart.”
Bleacher Report Open Ice brought new attention to the discussion, which actually took place in December when Chychrun was still with the Arizona Coyotes. Here’s the full quote Chychrun gave to PHNX’s Craig Morgan late in 2022.
"The guys think I’m crazy. My family thinks I’m crazy. My girlfriend thinks I’m crazy," Chychrun said.
"It’s a lot of protein and I’m not really eating carbs. On game days. I’ll eat some sweet potatoes, some white rice, fruit, but all my dairy stuff I try to get raw. I’m really big into that. It’s like an ancestral way of living, and I’m also eating raw liver, raw beef heart, doing all this crazy stuff. The taste is awful, but your body almost craves it when you eat it consistently because it’s just so nutrient dense."
Jakob Chychrun has a...unique diet 😳 pic.twitter.com/yY17OxBhUv
— B/R Open Ice (@BR_OpenIce) March 11, 2023
Plenty of responses essentially cast Chychrun, 24, as a potential zombie in “The Last of Us.”
sens fans cheering for chychrun like they didnt find human remains and evidence of cannibalism in his arizona home in 2018 https://t.co/67UHseC21j
— johtani🧪 (@notafan_jo) March 11, 2023
Some of the responses weren’t just funny, they were also possibly informative. It sounds like Chychrun may have been inspired (either directly or indirectly) by online influencer Brian Johnson, aka "The Liver King."
Jakob Chychrun, big "Liver King" guy. pic.twitter.com/IA0EJLZ3m5
— Yotes Trade Central (@yotestradecen) December 1, 2022
As the New York Post noted, "The Liver King" admitted that he lied about steroid use earlier in December, and faces a $25 million class-action lawsuit. The lawsuit accuses Johnson of promoting "a dangerous and life-threatening diet" that left people with severe food-borne illnesses.
Chychrun, other NHL players probably need expert advice
Whether Chychrun got his dietary information from "The Liver King" or somewhere else, it’s the sort of situation that could stop being quirky and amusing if the towering defenseman ends up sick due to food poisoning.
chychrun about to be the first nhl player listed as “day-to-day: e. coli (ate raw beef liver because someone on instagram said it would increase his testosterone levels)”
— the artist formerly known as strongfoahcheck (@strongforecheck) March 11, 2023
To be fair, Chychrun’s (raw) heart is in the right place. Known as a beast in the weight room, yet also a player who’s dealt with serious injury issues, he probably wants to optimize above everything else.
Chychrun hasn't played a 70 game season yet. Meanwhile the NHL's all time ironman is a chubby dude who loves cookies, is associated with hot dogs, and once said he'd quit hockey if he couldn't have Coca-Cola in the dressing room. Habits are good but min-maxing isn't everything https://t.co/OtgPVrvXsp
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) March 11, 2023
Maybe he just needs to get advice from an expert? The Toronto Maple Leafs just recently became the first team in the NHL to hire a full-time dietitian, and it feels like every other offseason features a storyline where a player seemingly discovers that they should probably eat more fruits and vegetables. Smarter teams are investing in this area, so hopefully the Senators have already given Chychrun a pamphlet or two about the dangers of consuming raw … organs?