© Eisa Bakos
How I fuel: Kriss Kyle
Thought freestyle BMX and MTB riders were as loose with their diet as they are with their riding? Think again. Here, Kriss Kyle shares his nutrition tips.
Stereotypically, freestyle BMXers enjoy nothing more than living a life of excess, and their bodies take a pounding both on and off the bike. "To be honest, people don’t train and I’ve seen what some of my friends – who are professional athletes – eat," says Kriss Kyle, whose latest project – Out of Season – saw him make the switch from BMX to mountain bike for the first time.
But while he describes the lack of meal plans or strict training programmes as a "good thing about my sport", he's recently cut down on the takeaways and processed foods and has noticed the difference.
Over the last couple of years, I’ve looked after myself a lot more than I used to eating-wise, and I feel better for it
Here, Kyle reveals how he fuels his extreme activities – from maximising his skatepark training sessions to sustaining a gruelling filming schedule...
What will you have for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks on a typical training day?
I usually wake up and run on an empty stomach or do a big walk with the dog. I’ll come back, sort myself out with my breakfast and a coffee. This is generally porridge with banana, blueberries, strawberries, chia and flax seeds, a massive dollop of peanut butter and sometimes even honey. That will keep me going for a good couple of hours while I do some emails before heading to ride my BMX at the skatepark.
On my way there, I’ll have a Red Bull. I usually have that 20 minutes before I ride, which is when it works best for me.
I’m a dessert connoisseur.
For lunch, I’ll come back and have some wholemeal bread with scrambled eggs and a protein bar. I’ll only have one bit of toast if I’m running in the afternoon – I can’t eat two hours before I go for a decent run. I’m usually snacking on Pink Lady apples, protein bars and rice cakes.
For dinner, it completely depends on what I’m doing the next day, but it’s usually something carb-based, such as pasta, a pesto rice dish with loads of veggies, or a warm goats cheese salad. It’s mainly vegetarian as well because my partner is vegetarian.
I’m a dessert connoisseur. Millionaire cheesecake desserts are my favourite but I need to stop that – it’s just getting ridiculous to have one every night.
What are the major considerations for your diet?
I aim for a well-balanced diet. I eat a lot of vegetarian stuff but I eat a lot of meat as well – I want a bit of absolutely everything and you can’t go wrong with that.
How do you use Red Bull in your training?
This morning, I knew I was going for a heavy training session at Unit 23 so I drank a can in the van on the way in. If I’m going to have a heavy one, and want to get some stuff done, it will give me that extra push. Or if I know I’m going for a big run or a big ride, I’ll have it.
In the past, I’ve been trying something for over 100 attempts and a Red Bull will give me that extra 50 attempts to get something done.
What does a filming day look like for you in terms of food and hydration?
It depends where we are in the world. For the filming of Out of Season in Wales, I’d wake up with a big glass of water, two black coffees and porridge. We’d then go straight into filming and I’d have a Red Bull just before lunch. By the time I’ve eaten that, I’m ready to go again. From that, just snacking throughout with apples, protein bars, bananas and nuts.
We were staying in a pub [for Out of Season], so I’d treat myself at night – having burgers or fish and chips. I’m not too strict on myself – I still enjoy eating pizza and I’ll have a blow out sometimes. As long as I’m fit and healthy, running and riding and doing everything that I’m doing, I think I’ve got a good, balanced diet so I’m not going to change anything.
What’s your favourite meal of all time?
Macaroni cheese and chips – that’s pretty much all I lived on as a kid.
If we’re heading over for dinner and you’re cooking, what’s on the menu?
If you’re coming over for dinner, I’d do nachos to start. I’d then do you a warm goats cheese salad – I really love it. And then we’d end it with melt in the middle Gu puds with ice cream and cream. Either that or we’d get an Indian takeaway.