If you feel you’re too rickety to land an alley-oop on the side of a half-pipe—or too doddering to even know what the trick is—Jamie Bestwick will give you little reason to feel better about your old age. The 43-year-old BMX rider has remained undefeated in the vertical ramp on the action-packed Dew Tour for the last 10 years, downside-whipping and frontflip-flairing the spit out of competition half his age. His secret? It might be that the British-born rider drinks five cups of coffee per day.
“I’m a huge Vincenzo Nibali fan, and I’m pretty sure he pounds five cups of coffee a day,” says Bestwick, also a 13-time X Games champion. “So if it’s good enough for the Tour de France winner, it’s good enough for me.”
Also good enough for the 6-foot-1, 170-pound rider is using smart nutrition to keep his body prepared to take the pounding inherent to his sport. “Being an older athlete, I have to be conscientious of that fact and not out drinking beer at two in the morning,” says the part-time NBC Sports broadcaster. “I try to keep it as clean as I can and healthy as I can.”
Here, we take a look inside one of the two refrigerators Bestwick shares with wife, Kerry, and son, Sam, in their State College, Pennsylvania home.
Pre-packed “lunch jars”: Open up Bestwick’s main fridge in his kitchen, and you’ll find his lunches for the week of salad greens and whole grains, all nicely premade and pre-packed into glass jars. “It’s just something I’ve gotten used to and enjoyed,” he says of his jarred meals, which Kerry makes for him. “Even though I’m probably the most qualified cook in the house, I haven’t used my skills in some time, so my wife is top chef in our home,” Bestwick explains. “The pre-packed meals keep me from diving into the cheeseburgers and pizza stashed in the freezer for my son.”
English chocolate: Although Bestwick now lives and trains in Pennsylvania, he was born in Nottingham, England, where he grew up riding bikes and nurturing his sweet tooth for his home-country’s chocolate. “I didn’t grow up eating Lindt or anything like that from Switzerland,” says the vert-ramp champ. “I like a lot of dairy milk and dark chocolate and all the variations that the English chocolate companies make.” Today, Bestwick keeps his English chocolate supply behind the door of his kitchen refrigerator, where it’s out of sight, but never out of mind. “It’s a nice treat to have lurking on the side of my fridge,” he admits.
Muesli: “I go through about five boxes of muesli a week,” says Bestwick of the cereal mix made from oats, dried fruits and nuts. “There are at least four boxes in the cupboard right now, and I know they’ll be gone soon.” But Bestwick isn’t patriotic about English muesli like he is about chocolate. “I like the brand Alpine,” he says. “It reminds me of home for some reason, even though it has a Swiss mountain in the background on the box.” The bike rider says he eats the cereal for breakfast and even after dinner if he’s craving something sweet.
Coffee: Bestwick doesn’t hesitate when divulging the details of his daily five-cup coffee addiction. “I have two cups in the morning, one [cup] after my bike ride, and another two [cups] at lunch time,” he says. “I know that’s probably not the recommended dose, but I’m trying to be as Italian as I can.” But wait, isn’t Bestwick from England? “Yeah, but all my favorite bike riders are Italian,” he explains. “I’m a huge Vincenzo Nibali fan, and I’m pretty sure he pounds five cups of coffee a day. So if it’s good enough for the Tour de France winner, it’s good enough for me.”
Soymilk: Bestwick doesn’t drink his daily five cups of coffee black, but with a hefty pour of soymilk, which means both his refrigerators are stocked with the non-dairy alternative. “I easily go through a carton of soymilk a day,” he says. “I try to not do the dairy thing, so soy’s a good option. It can taste a little synthetic at times, but I’ve gotten used to it.”
Muscle Monster Energy: Made by the same company that brought the world the highly caffeinated Monster Energy drinks, these protein-packed bottled beverages take up some space in Bestwick’s kitchen fridge as an occasional change from his regular routine of homemade protein shakes. “They’re really nice and taste awesome,” he says of Muscle Monster. “I like to enjoy a half-can every now and then.”