Thor may have let his diet lapse in ‘Avengers: Endgame’, but under all those prosthetics, Chris Hemsworth was still in superhero shape. We’ve all seen how Hemsworth crushes those high-intensity workouts with his personal trainer Luke Zocchi to play Marvel’s God of Thunder, but the preparation he does with on-set nutrition consultant and chef Sergio Perera is just as essential to looking and feeling his absolute best.
Perera, a specialist chef for athletes and celebrities, has worked in multiple Michelin-starred restaurants including Spain’s celebrated elBulli and is an expert on Hemsworth’s health and fitness app Centr.
RSNG asked Perera for his top eight hacks on eating to get action-ready like Chris Hemsworth…
1. Rise And Shine With A Workout-Focused Breakfast Chef Sergio Perera has helped Hemsworth get into shape by focusing on that all-important first meal of the day – a pre-training breakfast. ‘Chris’s day starts early with a workout, fuelled by a large protein smoothie, full of leafy greens or frozen berries,’ says Perera.
This is followed by a mid-morning refuelling: ‘Chris will have a sit-down breakfast around 10am, like eggs on wholegrain toast, or a savoury porridge.’ There’s a second smoothie to wash it down with that’s packed with everything a superhero in training needs: protein for recovery plus lime juice, coconut water and apple to refresh and cool down. You can get the recipe here.
We stick to complex grains such as rice, barley, quinoa, millet or buckwheat
Switch Carbs To Keep Snack Cravings At Bay Having laid down a protein base at breakfast to feed the muscles with the nutrients needed to shape them, the diet through the rest of the day enlists energy in the form of carbohydrates, but quality ones.
‘We stick to complex grains such as rice, barley, quinoa, millet or buckwheat,’ says Perera who adds that Hemsworth’s preference is steamed brown rice. ‘These are easier to measure and monitor, and satiate your hunger better than pasta, potatoes or bread.’
Fight Fat With Fats Fat isn’t the first word that springs to mind when discussing a physique like Chris Hemsworth’s – but that shape doesn’t come about on a low-fat diet. ‘What you need are healthy fats from whole foods such as flaxseed oil, olive oil and avocado oil,’ insists Perera.
‘These aid recovery after intense workouts and will help keep you feeling satisfied.’
Strategic Snacking Builds Bulk ‘When you’re bulking, you can feel like you are constantly eating – so protein shakes are essential and snacks can be more like mini-meals,’ adds Perera. ‘One of Chris’s staples is a bowl of yoghurt with mixed fresh berries, chia seeds, almonds and honey. If you’re more focused on getting lean rather than bulking, raw vegetable snacks are best.’
Preparation Makes Meal Choices Easier On a blockbuster movie shoot, locations and schedules are always changing. Everyday life can be like this, too, so make it easier for yourself to eat well by making meals prior to going anywhere – that way you know you’ll have a good selection at your fingertips.
‘Another of our go-to snacks for Chris is a frozen green bar, which is a homemade mix of spinach, cauliflower, chia and pumpkin seeds, dates, spirulina, bee pollen, banana, almond flour and cucumber – it’s really filling and convenient when he’s on the run.’
Stay Full To Stay Fully On Track ‘When you’re training regularly, you need to feed your hunger in a healthy way. If your stomach is growling by mealtime, it’s tempting to load up your plate with bread or extra helpings of rice,’ says Perera.
‘To avoid this, Chris would have an ‘in-between’ meal around 5.30pm during his Avengers prep – lots of clear broth soups loaded with vegetables and some protein or rice cakes with Vegemite, tuna and tomatoes.’
For dinner he’ll have grilled or steamed fish as it requires less energy to digest than red meat, so his body isn’t working hard overnight
Grilling Is The Secret To Good Digestion Perera recommends a moderate intake of animal proteins (poultry, read meat, seafood) and grilling or steaming to keep those calories clean. ‘Although Chris does eat more red meat than usual when he’s training for Thor, we limit it to lunch – with a dish like my Smoky Grilled Steak Tacos. For dinner he will have grilled or steamed fish as it requires less energy to digest than red meat, so his body isn’t doing all that hard work overnight.’
Natural Route To Supplementary Benefits Perera ups Hemsworth’s vitamin C intake when he’s in prep mode and the actor will have magnesium and Branched-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) before bed to aid in relaxation and recovery. But Perera’s first choice for Hemsworth is increasing his intake of essential vitamins and minerals naturally.
‘To support Chris’s training and recovery, we’ll increase consumption of legumes and high amino acid foods such as quinoa, millet, buckwheat and amaranth.’
WHAT NEXT? Discover more about Hemsworth’s approach to natural nutrition.
Sergio Perera is a featured expert on Chris Hemsworth’s personalised digital health and fitness program, Centr, available from the App Store for iPhone and Apple Watch or online at Centr.com