What Do Athletes REALLY Eat? Part 2: X-Games
January 15th, 2019
In our series of, “What Do Athletes REALLY Eat?” we’re looking into the perception versus the reality of what athletes eat. It’s likely that no area of sports has a closer relationship to fast- and junk-food as X-Games (skateboarding, BMX, snowboarding, etc.).
Event sponsorships from energy drinks, snack foods and fast food surround the sport. And while those companies try to align themselves with the sports, the truth is that most of the leaders in these sports have drastically different eating habits. The 2019 Winter X-Games occur January 24-27, and in advance of the event we thought we’d look into things.
As the X-Games tour approached Minneapolis-St. Paul, MN in the summer of 2017, a local paper reached out to a number of top-ranked X-Games athletes to ask what their real diets consist of. You can read the entire City Pages article here, and we’ll do a quick recap here.
BMX champion and San Diego (La Mesa) native Dennis Enarsson says that he likes to start his day with, “a smoothie just packed with a bunch of good stuff. Like, all-natural—put turmeric in there, ginger, a whole lemon, spinach. I’ll do hemp seeds, milk, almond butter, bananas—the list goes on and on.” After a healthy lunch and a day of riding, it’s time for dinner. “He’ll often dine out with friends, but he doesn’t go for fried chicken or the burger, opting instead for a balanced plate of greens and meat, frequently fish.” And Enarsson touts the benefits of staying hydrated and drinking lots of water. “I stay chugging’ water,” he says.
For Tyler Bereman, 27, a motocross and Supercross rider, developing healthy eating habits has been a lifelong process. “As a kid, he would munch on “whatever,” snagging bags of McDonald’s before hitting the track. But the more he started racing, the more he had to eat—and it can’t all be Dollar Menu deals. So he got serious about going for what made his body feel good and avoiding what didn’t. These days, it’s a lot of chicken and fish, with plenty of vegetables. He’s a sucker for sweets, so he always has oranges or berries on hand to scratch that itch.” As he rose through the ranks of elite racers, he saw a difference in diet from the best of the best. “At the top level of racing, those guys are very, very, very conscious of what they eat.”
Jordyn Barrat, a top-10 skateboarder in the world, is also very conscious about her nutrition, and has been for some time. The 20-year old has been a vegetarian since about the age of 12, a decision that started with a bet between friends to see who could give up meat, and the decision has lasted. “I lasted the longest, and then I was like, ‘I’m just going to keep doing this.’ I feel way better when I don’t eat meat,” she explains. As for her regular diet, “‘It’s a lot of rice and beans,’ and, as is apparently the case for everyone in extreme sports, she’s never met a smoothie she didn’t like. ‘I have a blender and I use that every day, for sure.’”