Broncos’ director of nutrition providing horsepower to players

Bryan Snyder, the Broncos   director of nutrition, has upgraded kitchen and dining facilities at Dove Valley to provide proper team fuel.

Seven years ago, Bryan Snyder’s position with the Broncos didn’t exist. The team didn’t have nine chefs, and it didn’t have a kitchen that served sushi and quinoa.

It wasn’t until coach Josh McDaniels was hired in 2009 that Snyder, a former basketball player at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, was brought on as the team’s director of nutrition.

The Broncos have since tried to ensure their players are fed properly, during the offseason as well as during the season. But each year brings changes to Snyder’s job, and this year is no different. A new coaching staff and a new playbook mean more dietetic variables to consider.

“Guys that are switching offenses, where they might be going from only a handful of plays to many more reps, their calories go up,” Snyder said. “And we have to make sure they’re staying hydrated.”

Snyder’s teaching is at both a macro and micro level, giving Denver players caloric ranges, while also offering examples of “a perfect day,” as he calls it.

“A lot of guys don’t know what 500 calories looks like,” he said. “We have to build that for them so they can get a visual.”

For some, he will break it down further, dictating the types of foods they should consume throughout the day based on their training. Breakfast before weightlifting will include more carbs for easy absorption. Meals after practice are typically higher in protein.

One player he rarely has to monitor, though: quarterback Peyton Manning.

“He’s very meticulous and does everything by the book,” Snyder said. “His plan hasn’t changed in three or four years. We don’t ever have to worry about him.”

Nicki Jhabvala: njhabvala@denverpost.com or twitter.com/nickijhabvala