Me and my health: Racer Andy Reid on his lifestyle
The 22-year-old is a Superbike motorcycle racer with Quattro Plant Cool Kawaski and lives in Carrickfergus with his girlfriend, Chloe Smyth. He will be heading to Silverstone for the first round of the British Superbike Series Championship in the SuperSport 600 Class taking place on April 8.
Q: Do you take regular exercise - and if so what?
A: I have to keep fit in my job. I have a personal trainer to work on strength and conditioning, so I'm in the gym with him every Monday and Wednesday for a two-hour session each time. After the gym I will swim continuous lengths for about 45 minutes, and I play squash on a Monday evening for an hour. On Tuesday I ride a motocross bike, which is the hardest and most fun training I do. It works every muscle group in your body as you are controlling the weight of the bike which is about 130 kilos. Your heart rate can go up to 190 and burn up over 2,000 calories. I also run over hilly terrain for up to five miles one day a week and cycle anything from 30-100 miles another day, followed by more motocross. On Saturday, I can have a rest after some more motocross - and by Sunday I'm ready to do it all again.
Q: What's been your worst illness?
A: I had pneumonia when I was a baby and then suffered osteomyelitis when I was nine. The latter is a bone disease. I remember taking it when I was out riding motorbikes and felt very cold. The doctors believed the infection set in via a cold sore and it worked its way into my body. I was in hospital for two to three months and had my right hip in traction. I also take tonsillitis like no one else, it makes me so ill, I feel as though I am dying.
Q: How healthy is your diet?
A: I try to stay away from saturated fats and any unnecessary sugars. Breakfast is usually a white egg with one yolk omelette with spinach cooked in coconut oil and a double espresso, while lunch is a chicken or salmon fillet with 100 grams of Basmati rice. For dinner it's chicken or fish again. I rarely have red meat - if I do, it will be at a restaurant. For me, snacks are rice cakes as they are very low calorie. I also drink up to five litres of water everyday. My trainer tells me that I am allowed a day off, so I can eat a burger then.
Q: Any bad habits?
A: I drink too much coffee. It's not unusual for me to have four double espressos before I leave the house in the morning. I don't take energy drinks, so I get my caffeine fix from coffee. As soon as I wake up I have to have coffee.
Q: Do you drink/and or smoke - and if so how much?
A: This is a tough subject for me as my late father was an alcoholic. I have seen the way drink can destroy families and it has left a lasting impression on me. I won't condemn anyone who enjoys a drink, though. I really don't drink and if I do it's a glass of wine with a meal. I don't drink beer or spirits at all.
Q: Do you take health supplements?
A: My girlfriend Chloe says I should be taking vitamins but I think I am 100% fine. I do take a protein supplement, which is full of micro-nutrients - so it's taken after training for recovery. I also use a Nutri Ninja to make smoothies and that is a good way to get lots of greens into you.
Q: How do you take time out?
A: My rest time is an opportunity to chill out. Off-season is winter and I can take up to four weeks off, but I prefer to be doing something. One time I rested, ate takeaways and lived like a slob. When I went back to training I thought I was going to be sick it was so hard - that's what happens when you don't eat clean and exercise. The last time I had a holiday was 10 years ago. I am living the dream now, riding motorbikes for a living, so I am grateful for that.
Q: How well do you sleep?
A: I sleep like an absolute log. I am a really heavy sleeper. Although, Chloe works shifts, so sometimes she persuades me to stay up until to midnight or 1am to watch The Good Wife on Netflix.
Q: Do you worry about getting old?
A: I am looking forward to getting older and reaching the point where I have made enough money to do what I want. Then I can spend my time doing things like going on a cruise to the Caribbean. And I don't have to worry about being an athlete.
Q: What is your go-to product/habit that keeps you feeling healthy?
A: I find the Irish martial arts fighter, Conor McGregor, who competes mostly in the featherweight division of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, inspirational. He is famous now but has struggled for so long to achieve his sporting goals and made a lot of sacrifices which many people probably don't understand - but I can relate to. I love his expression 'hard work doesn't take breaks'.