Cristiano Ronaldo is young and healthy thanks to his unique habits

Famous player Cristiano Ronaldo sleeps 5 times, eats 6 meals a day, and sits in a cold chamber with low temperatures to train his ability to face “physiological shocks”.

When many players have begun to retire at the age of 39, the Portuguese striker still devotes his best on the field. In the match against Abha in the Saudi Pro League season in early April, he scored his second consecutive hat-trick for Al Nassr. The superstar scored three goals, including two free kicks, helping Al Nassr beat the bottom team Abha 8-0.

The key behind his success is his serious attitude when competing, plus his somewhat strange and unique habits and scientific eating style.

Take 5 naps

According to ESPN, the five-time Ballon d’Or winner usually takes 5 naps a day, each nap lasting 90 minutes. According to sleep expert Nick Littlehales, who has worked with Ronaldo many times, this is not the type of nap or nap commonly seen in the middle of the day for normal people. Sleeping for 90 minutes is a method to sleep less while still improving your body’s ability to recover after sleep.

With 5 90-minute naps, Ronaldo still gets 7.5 hours of sleep a day, which is the ideal amount of sleep recommended by the World Sleep Association.

Eat 6 meals

Ronaldo is famous for his strict diet, up to 6 meals a day. He started his breakfast with ham, cheese and yogurt. When he feels hungry, he snacks on avocado toast. He usually eats two lunches and two dinners to gain energy for the rest of the day.

The first lunch consisted of chicken and salad, the second he ate fish, eggs and olives. In the evening, he usually eats braised tuna or cod and some types of meat.

For a normal person, that amount of food would be overkill. However, as a player with high exercise intensity, Ronaldo needs a lot of protein to supplement energy. Besides practicing on the field, he also especially enjoys pilates and swimming.

Giorgio Barone, the former direct chef of the Portuguese football legend, revealed that his daily menu has almost “no expensive food”. He only prepares dishes from organic and natural ingredients such as fish, chicken, veal, eggs, avocado, coconut oil and black rice. Ronaldo’s focus is on protein, excluding sugar, fat and carbohydrates.

The players’ favorites are fish, lean protein, whole grains and salads – proteins that help build and restore muscles as well as slow down the degeneration process with age.

Player Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Reuters

Player Cristiano Ronaldo. Photo: Reuters

Sit in a cold room

In February 2022, Ronaldo shared a video recording him using a “cold chamber” during competition in the Middle East. Some sources revealed that the player spent 50,000 pounds to buy a private cryotherapy room from Italy and install it at home, in order to thoroughly recover after a busy playing schedule. The cold chamber can reduce the temperature to -200 degrees Celsius, from 1 to a maximum of 3 minutes, and is the choice of not only Ronaldo but many other players around the world.

Cryotherapy is the general name for treatment methods under the effect of low temperatures, including applying ice, cold baths or cold saunas. According to Dr. Adnan Haq, lecturer in Exercise and Sports Science at the University of South Wales, the term refers to whole-body cooling, exposing the user to extremely cold air, -100 degrees Celsius for about three minutes.

The body now experiences a “major physiological shock” because it faces a harsh environment, which in turn leads to a response to increase the level of recovery.

According to experts, Leicester City’s incredible victory in the 2016 Premier League was partly thanks to the players using cryotherapy. Currently, some of England’s top clubs also install cold chambers right at the training ground. Some athletes find that applying cryotherapy immediately after exercise speeds up the recovery process, allowing them to compete at a high intensity.

“Another important benefit of this therapy is the treatment of exercise-related injuries. Single methods of cryotherapy help minimize muscle weakness, which causes damage to muscle fibers,” said Dr. Haq. 

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