Professional soccer players are often criticized for their millionaire lifestyles and off-pitch shenanigans. After all, this is a very well-paid sport, and most pro soccer players are under the age of 30, so they’re bound to want to live it up a little.
However, it’s all too easy to forget how much training goes into being a professional sportsperson. Most train anywhere from 4-6 hours per day with their team and have to put in extra work on their own, too.
As players age, wear, tear, and injuries start to accumulate, and they have to train even harder (and smarter) to keep pace with their younger teammates. Poor performances won’t be tolerated, and more than a few bad games could see them on the subs bench or out of the team and out of a job.
Nutrition always plays a part in a successful performance, and it’s often interesting to learn about what professional sportspeople eat.
Cristiano Ronaldo has been at the top of his sport for almost two decades and, even though he’s in his late-30s, he’s still playing the highest level. Training undoubtedly plays a part in his sporting longevity, but so too does the Cristiano Ronaldo diet.
In this article, we take a look at what Ronaldo eats and how he trains.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s Diet
Who Is Cristiano Ronaldo?
Cristiano Ronaldo is a Portuguese professional football (soccer) player.
He’s played for several famous clubs, including Manchester United and Real Madrid, and is currently at Juventus. He has played in over 1000 professional football matches.
In addition to his team duties, he has represented his country almost 200 times, including in the World and UEFA Cup. At the age of 22, Ronaldo captained Portugal and held that position for the next seven years.
Ronaldo is an attacking player known for his probing runs and dribbling flair. He’s a powerful athlete who, because of his fitness and strength, has no problem fending off tackles and maintaining possession even against aggressive players.
Cristiano Ronaldo has won the coveted Ballon d’Or (golden ball) five times, which is awarded to the best soccer player in the world, as voted by sports journalists.
Despite being in his late 30s, Cristiano Ronaldo shows little sign of slowing down and is often described as the best soccer player in the world. This, in part, is due to his dedication to his diet and workout plan.
What Does Ronaldo Eat?
Training full-time requires an optimal diet.
Not only do you need an abundance of calories, but you also need to eat all the macro and micronutrients that allow your body to perform at its best and recover fully between workouts.
Ronaldo’s diet isn’t faddy or fancy, but it’s clear he takes nutrition very seriously.
It’s this commitment to his diet that has allowed Ronaldo to remain at the top of international soccer for the past two decades.
So, What Does Ronaldo Eat?
There is no official Cristiano Ronaldo diet, and, like most of us, he eats a wide variety of foods and meals. That said, this is an average day in the diet of Ronaldo:
Breakfast: Whole-grain cereal, egg whites, and freshly squeezed fruit juice.
Snack: Tuna on wholemeal bread, coffee.
Lunch: Whole-wheat pasta, green vegetables, grilled chicken, side salad.
Dinner: Rice, fish, legumes/pulses, vegetables, and fruit.
Like most Portuguese people, Ronaldo was brought up on the Mediterranean diet, which is often described as the healthiest diet in the world because of the lower incidences of heart disease and cancer in the region.
The Mediterranean diet consists of lots of fish and poultry, a little red meat, large quantities of vegetables, whole grains and pulses, some fruit, and very little sugar. This Mediterranean influence is evident in the Ronaldo diet.
In addition to his regular diet, Ronaldo also uses protein powders, takes a multi-vitamin and mineral, and also uses joint-care supplements to boost his health and recovery after training.
In summary, the Ronaldo diet is high in complex carbs and protein, relatively low in fat, and very healthy and natural. He does enjoy treats from time to time, such as cake, chocolate, and the occasional glass of wine, but these are relative rarities and not dietary staples.
What Is Ronaldo’s Favorite Food?
Ronaldo has a special love of fish and eats seafood most days. This can be something as simple as tuna or something more exotic like calamari. He also loves sardines, which he enjoys grilled, drizzled in olive oil, and served on freshly baked bread.
His favorite meal is a classic Portuguese dish called “Bacalhau à Brás,” which is a mixture of cod, onions, thinly sliced potatoes, and scrambled eggs.
How Does Ronaldo Train?
Cristiano Ronaldo is as famous for his physique as he is for his soccer prowess. At 1.86m tall and 85kg, he’s lean, muscular, and very fit and strong.
Needless to say, his non-stop workout regimen is not for the faint of heart, but if you want to look like Ronaldo, you’ve got to train like Ronaldo too!
Ronaldo reportedly hits the gym five days a week, following a fairly standard strength training program. He follows a split routine and trains different muscles on different days. His workouts are built around functional compound exercises such as push-ups, squats, power cleans, deadlifts, pull-ups, and lunges.
In addition to his strength workouts, Ronaldo also favors circuit and interval training, which he prefers to longer, slower-paced cardio. This makes a lot of sense because soccer is a fast-paced start-stop sport, and his training replicates this.
As well as his intense workouts, Ronaldo also likes to swim and does Pilates to strengthen his core and improve mobility, flexibility, and posture.
All of this exercise is in addition to his soccer training, which lasts between 3-4 hours per day. Ronaldo trains five days a week, not including soccer matches. As you’d expect for a professional sportsperson, training is a full-time job!
To ensure he’s fully rested between workouts, Ronaldo makes sure that he gets at least eight hours of sleep per night, enjoys frequent power naps, and uses sauna and cryotherapy treatments to enhance circulation and reduce inflammation. After all, it’s impossible to train hard if you’re still tired after your last workout.
Professional soccer players often have short careers (unlike other athletes) – 5-10 years being the norm. Ronaldo is still at the top of his game after 20 years, suggesting that he’s cracked the training and nutrition code of soccer longevity.
And, unlike a lot of senior players, he’s not just going through the motions or spending more time on the subs bench than on the pitch; he’s playing some of the best soccer of his career despite closing in on 40.
A lot of professional sportspeople’s diets are beyond the reach of the average exerciser. Personal chefs, exotic and expensive foods, lots of supplements, and faddy eating plans mean they are often impossible to follow.
However, the Cristiano Ronaldo diet is refreshingly absent of any weird foods or costly supplements. Instead, Ronaldo still follows a predominantly Mediterranean diet that is based on cheap, natural, and readily available ingredients like fish, whole grains, vegetables, and olive oil.
While he does use supplements, Ronaldo doesn’t take a whole lot of pills, powders, or potions. Instead, he gets his nutrients as nature intended – from his wholesome diet.
If you are looking for a sensible diet to follow that will fuel your workouts, keep you healthy, and allow you to get and stay lean, the Ronaldo diet could be the one you want. It’s nothing fancy, and it’s very accessible, but judging by how Cristiano Ronaldo looks and performs, it’s clear this nutritional approach really works.