Cristiano Ronaldo, the Portuguese Superstar, Juventus striker and five-time Ballon D’Or winner has long been a poster boy for good health, adhering to a strict diet and fitness regime. Cristiano Ronaldo’s Euro 2020 campaign got off to a flyer scoring two goals as he captained Portugal to a 3-0 victory against Hungary but he got even more attention when he sat down at a press conference and removed two bottles of Coca Cola on display, urging fans to drink ‘agua’ (water) instead. At 36 the soccer legend is super fit and at the top of his game. What’s his secret? Here’s how he keeps in shape.
Six Meals a Day and the occasional Pizza
Ronaldo says the key to his success is a high-protein diet – and up to six meals a day.
“If you train regularly it’s important to keep energy levels high to fuel your body for better performance,” he explained at a 2015 unveiling of his CR7 underwear range.
“I eat a high protein diet, with lots of wholegrain carbs, fruit and vegetables, and avoid sugary foods.”
Eating every three to four hours, he kicks off his day with a varied breakfast containing cheese, ham, low-fat yoghurt, fruit or avacado on toast.
When out at restaurants, he’s partial to steak and salads, while he regards chicken as “magical” due to its high protein levels and low fat content.
His favourite dish is the Portuguese staple Bacalhau a Bras, which combines scrambled eggs with fried potatoes and shards of salt cod.
According to Portuguese national team chef Luis Lavrador, Ronaldo has a particular love of fresh fish. Speaking to Le10Sport, Lavrador said: “Ronaldo eats all sort of dishes, as [the] responsible athlete he is, but the one he likes the most is fish like gilt-head bream, swordfish and sea bass.”
Nonetheless, even the five-time Ballon d’Or winner occasionally gives himself a night off. He once remarked: “Of course, I’m not (100% disciplined) every day. Sometimes I eat pizza with my son. Because if not, I’m going to get bored.”
Rowing, Pilates and Cryotherapy
He’s one of the hardest workers on the training pitch – but Ronaldo’s hardcore fitness regime doesn’t stop there.
His incredible home has a personal gym and swimming pool, and the workout addict regularly posts snaps of himself doing extra circuits and pumping iron.
The star says the secret to staying motivated is to “mix it up”.
Alongside weight training, he enjoys cardiovascular exercises such as running and rowing, and Pilates sessions that help strengthen his core.
It’s crucial, he says, to make sure you warm up your body first to avoid injury.
“In training we do a few laps on the pitch, stretching and cardio warm-up exercises,” he explains.
“Make sure you do something similar in your training, even if it is jogging to the gym or a warm up on the treadmill or bicycle.”
For sports lovers, he recommends incorporating high-intensity drills – like sprinting exercises – into any workout to mirror the match-day experience.
If you can’t find time to get down to the gym, fit in exercises wherever you can. If you get into a routine it makes it easier as it will become a habitCristiano Ronaldo
“You can do an abs workout in your bedroom when you wake up in the morning or before you go to bed,” he says. “If you get into a routine then it makes it easier as it will become a habit.”
One secret weapon in his arsenal that won’t be available to the casual fitness buff is Ronaldo’s £50,000 cryotherapy chamber.
The star invested in the device to sooth muscle soreness, sprains and swellings after a game.
It involves standing in the chamber for three minutes as liquid nitrogen drops temperatures to as low as 200 degrees Celcius.
Alternatively, he also enjoys a 20-minute soak in a hot bath – which sounds by far more appealing.
Snubs Booze for Fruit Smoothies
Ronaldo has been teetotal since 2005 – not only to keep his diet in check, but also because of his tragic family history.
The forward’s father, Dinis Aveiro, died aged 52 following a battle with booze, and his mother, Dolores, has said the shocking death had a huge effect on the young footballer as he was breaking through the ranks.
“Cristiano has seen what drink and drugs can do to people close to him and it’s part of the reason why he’s become who he is today,” she said.
“What happened to our family explains why Cristiano doesn’t have vices. “He doesn’t smoke and doesn’t drink. His addiction is football.”
Steering clear of alcohol completely, Ronaldo instead enjoys coffee and fresh juice, according to Lavrador. He mixes it up by trying smoothies containing everything from pear, apple and pineapple to mango and strawberry with banana.
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