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If you thought that it’s difficult to stick to a clean eating plan and training regimen when you’re traveling, try jet-setting around the globe and wrestling for your paycheck once you arrive!
WWE Superstars travel the globe competing in more than 200 matches each year. The demand of everyday travel for these world-class athletes creates new challenges when making choices about training and diet.
We caught up with WWE’s first Australian female superstar, Emma, to get the low-down on how she eats for energy and maximizes workout time while traveling.
M&F: When you moved to America from Australia, did you have to make any physical adjustments?
Emma: It’s definitely hot living in Florida, but I like that. Where I grew up it was never cold. It didn’t snow or anything like that, so it was a dream for me to move to a place where I was always going to be warm.
M&F: You’re in elite shape, how do you approach your diet?
Emma: I don’t cut anything out of my diet but I do pay attention to my macros. I can eat a variety of different foods as long as I stay within my macros limit.
M&F: Do you find it time consuming when trying to read food packaging to calculate this?
Emma: You can get apps, like MyFitnessPal, where you can scan the barcode, or some restaurants have a menu’s nutritional breakdown shown online. Once you have loaded the details into the app it’s really not that hard.
M&F: Do you try and eat a set number of meals each day?
Emma: Depending on the day I’ll have around four meals. If I am up early it will more likely be six meals. If I am short of time I’ll have less meals but with more macros to balance it out.
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M&F: How do you approach travelling and making sure you get the right nutrients?
Emma: ICON Meals send me custom made, prepared meals every week. They can send them to my apartment or any location in the US. Everything is listed on the label and I can input that into my app. This way I know exactly what macros I am getting. If I find that I don’t have a prepared meal for some reason, I’ll carry a Quest protein bar.
M&F: Let’s say you are having a bad day and you arrive at the airport without any food, what do you do?
Emma: On those days I can usually buy hard-boiled eggs. So I try to get them as a snack, or an egg white omelette. This way I can control the levels of fat.
M&F: What is the hardest part of traveling?
Emma: Getting stuck in lines and missing flights is the worst. The last thing you want is to be stuck at an airport all day. Long haul flying is difficult.
M&F: Which places do you love to visit?
Emma: I love to go home to Australia. I love the European tours. I really enjoy traveling.
M&F: Do you lift weights?
Emma: Yes. I do squats, deadlifts. I love lifting weights.
M&F: You get a lot of cardio training from being in the ring on an almost nightly basis, but do you train with any other type of cardio?
Emma: When I do cardio outside of the ring, I would be sprinting or working on a Cross Trainer. I like HIIT training. But I am focusing more on weights than cardio at the moment.
M&F: Do you drink water when you are on the go?
Emma: All the time! I travel so much in planes and cars, it is easy to get dehydrated. I always have a bottle of water with me.
M&F: Do you ever drink soft drinks or diet soda?
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Emma: Not really. Very occasionally. It would almost be like a treat for me to have a diet soda if I was going out for a meal or something like that. I don’t drink tea or coffee either.
M&F: Do you eat meat?
Emma: I do. I don’t like seafood but I take fish oils (for its joint lubrication benefits). I usually eat chicken and lean turkey. Occasionally I’ll have a piece of lean beef, like filet.
M&F: Is there anything that your friends or family send over to the States that you miss from your home in Australia?
Emma: I do get TimTams sent over quite often, they’re a type of chocolate biscuit. It’s a little Australian treat!
M&F: When you are traveling around the world with WWE, do you take anything with you to make life more comfortable?
Emma: Maybe just a neck pillow for the plane. I always ask for a window seat so that I can lean against the side.
M&F: Do you get enough sleep?
Emma: I always try and get at least 8 hours of sleep. Sometimes I feel that if I don’t get enough sleep, my workout will suffer. I think it’s important to get the right recovery (i.e. from a grueling match) and that way you can hit the gym with your full focus and energy.
M&F: What advice would you give to some of the newer WWE talent coming through in terms of getting into shape?
Emma: The main thing is to be on top of your diet. Traveling involves a lot of gas stations and late-night restaurants so you need to be able to make the right choices about what is on the menu. Also, you need to stay active in the gym at least four times per week, lifting, and making sure that your whole body is engaged.
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