If you don’t know the name, you’ve probably seen the video: a man chugging a beer, like a boss, while wake surfing, almost, like a boss. You may remember that the surfer was a country music superstar and that the stunt ended like all beer/water stunts: with a splash. But that man, the platinum-album-selling musician Brett Eldredge, probably bobbed up with a smile, because he knows the occasional beer won’t hurt—even if hitting the water at 10-20 mph certainly does.
Men’s Health caught up with Eldredge before a recent show in Long Island. Beer (and whiskey) aside, Eldredge is as tall and fit as singers come. At 6’5” and with shows all summer, Eldridge needs the energy and cardio to rock and roll all night long. A tour bus outfitted with a kitchen, and and a crew carrying several pieces of exercise equipment helps do the trick.
“I just got this bus,” Eldridge says proudly, taking us inside for a culinary tour. Opening up his Cubs-sticker-adorned fridge (Eldridge was born in Paris … Illinois), he warns us that it might be a bit messy. “My mom left some food in there over the weekend, so it still smells a little bit like the fourth of July,” Eldredge says in probably the most American sentence uttered on Men’s Health yet. But while it might smell like America’s birthday, the fridge looks more like its healthiest grocery stores: milk, eggs, lettuce, and chicken breast, thinly sliced.
The chicken breast goes on the grill two hours before shows, because “I don’t wanna be burping on stage,” he says. “That happens.” Other on-the-road staples include several protein shakes each day, consist almond milk, a couple scoops of protein, peanut butter, banana, and blueberries. “I go through a lot of almond milk,” Eldredge says, laughing.
When he doesn’t have to worry about burping on stage, Eldredge indulges in BBQ ribs or red curry. Thai food is his favorite. For sweets, he’s a peanut butter and chocolate ice cream guy. He’s a also a big whiskey guy. “It wouldn’t be country music without some whiskey,” he says with a grin.
In his cabinets by the whiskey, Eldredge also stores hydration pills. He learned from doing hot yoga that he gets dehydrated easily. So now he takes the pills when he plays on hot days. “Hydration is everything,” he says.
“People probably think rockstar life [entails] being crazy after the show and all these people back stage. Actually, we’re playing Mario Kart.”
Pre-show rituals also include a dance party on the bus. And Mario Kart. “Before and after the show, we play a lot of Mario Kart. People probably think rock star life [entails] being crazy after the show and all these people back stage,” he says. “Actually, we’re playing Mario Kart.”
Eldredge says he works out five or six times a week, even when on the road. “When working out on the road, you have to get creative,” he says. Exercise creativity entails battle ropes outside the bus and wind sprints in fields by concert venues. Eldredge also throws in a variety of bodyweight and free weight exercises, including equipment like kettlebells, dumbbells, and medicine balls—a routine easy to follow while on the road, especially when you have plenty of trucks to carry the heavier weights.
For his mental well being, Eldredge uses yoga and meditation. “I’ve dealt with anxiety for much of my life,” he says. Meditation has helped Eldredge “see things for what they are.” He says he also put away his smartphone a couple months ago and purchased a flip phone. It keeps him from getting distracted, even if it means asking for directions at gas stations “like it’s 1997.”
Eldredge’s technology might be stuck in the ’90s, but his workout and eating routine are decidedly focused on the right here, right now.
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