It may surprise some that current WWE tag-team champ Kofi Kingston, who's of a slightly less imposing stature than some of his contemporaries, does serious power-lifting. But even more shocking is the revelation that, despite being maybe the roster’s leanest competitor, he doesn’t subsist on a diet of smoothies and undressed chicken. As the 34-year-old member of antagonist faction New Day discusses with us, it’s all about understanding what your body can process. That, and staying away from food that’s processed before it even reaches your plate. Kingston broke down some of his insights about eating food that tastes good and is good for you, tuning out bad advice and remembering not to dehydrate.
Understand Your Makeup
"That's a crucial part of people who have goals in terms of health and fitness, because everyone's different, even down to blood types. I think type A is more susceptible to vegetarianism, as opposed to type O, which is more susceptible to meat-eating. You have to know your body and listen to those cues. People ask me about dietary tips all the time, and I stress that, most likely, you can't eat the way I do, because naturally I've always been this wiry kid who’s been able to eat whatever he wants. And then you have other people who eat a doughnut and they’ll just blow up. People have gluten sensitivities. There’s so much about your diet that you might not know until you experiment with what works and what doesn’t. And once you know, it’s so much easier to stay on a diet that works."
Don't Believe the Hype
"It's helpful to be educated, but you don't need to know all the details. If you eat a certain food and it makes you feel a certain way, just because you read in a magazine that it's supposed to help you, your body's telling you different. You're not the target audience. It's almost like an advertisement, where the commercial’s designed for a certain person, and you might not be receptive to the information. It’s the same thing with food, even in terms of allergies. Again, it’s just a matter of knowing your body."
Not All Fast Foods Are Alike
"Luckily, places like Chipotle, the stuff they’re selling is healthy. If you want it to be high in carbs, you just get more rice. If you don't want carbs, you don't get rice. You can focus on your protein and get double meat. It's flavorful food that’s not processed, and it’s good for you, so a lot of us love Chipotle. Denny's is a different case, but I’ll eat a pancake, 'cause I need a little fat in my diet. Or you can get your egg white for your omelets. A little shake every now and then isn’t a bad thing either. Denny’s always comes through in a clutch in terms of having a sit-down meal. Chipotle's always the cream of the crop for us."
Be Wary of Processed Foods
"My wife has opened up my eyes to some of the chemicals that are used in processed foods. She jokes around, 'You keep altering your diet, one of these days you're gonna be a vegetarian.' And I'm like, 'No way,' and for the last year and change I've stopped eating red meat, which I never thought I'd do. Five Guys used to be a staple of my diet, and now I don't even crave red meat anymore, so it's really weird. The more natural the better. There's so many things in the food industry we’re not aware of, but you do a little research and find out how things are preserved, and then it’s, 'OK, why am I eating this when there’s a healthier option?' If it were up to me, I’d have a lot more organic food in my diet."
Water Is Good
"That's one of my biggest flaws in terms of dieting, trying to stay hydrated, I'd be feeling a little woozy and never know why, and it was like, 'Oh, I haven’t drank anything all day.’ For us, being on the road so much, and especially at a television day, where we have so much going on, you don’t find yourself around catering or a place that has a lot of water, and then you have to wrestle. There’s been a couple of times where I've gone out and then come back and feel a certain way, and I wonder why, and I’ll think about the liquid I consumed and it’s been a bottle of Gatorade. So not OK. Big E drinks three gallons of water a day. You’d think he eats a lot, which he does, but he also consumes a lot of water, and that’s key in terms of being able to maintain. I’ll down a bottle of water if I see it, knowing I’ll probably forget or be too busy to do it later. But hydration is such an important part for anyone who’s involved in anything athletic.”