Cleveland Cavaliers power forward Kevin Love is a five-time All-Star, an Olympic gold medalist, NBA champion, and an all-time great at nomming on all things almond butter.
Men’s Health caught up with Love in NYC, where he’s spending his offseason prepping for the 2019-20 NBA season like the champion he is. Certain “keyboard warriors” (a.k.a. his former teammates) have accused Love of spending more time at play than work—hiking in Bryce Canyon, hitting golf balls in the snow in Whistler, and chilling on the beach in Montauk. But Love isn’t sleeping on his season preparation, and his focus on diet and exercise prove it—even if they’re somewhat less Insta–worthy than flying a plane over the Hudson.
Since he hasn’t posted as much of this type of thing online, we’ll show you the footage to back up Love’s commitment. His fridge is a small shrine to conscientiousness: cartons of eggs, stacks of Applegate chicken, and Essentia water. Lots of water. “I think I saw Dwayne Johnson say he drinks four gallons a day,” Love says, sounding both impressed and intimidated. “I try to drink my body weight in ounces—240 ounces [1.8 gallons]. I’m drinking a lot.”
The Rock is just on another level. Love says he drinks red wine and “pinots,” to unwind because, as he says, “I’m from Portland.”
And then there are heaps of humus—like a whole half-shelf dedicated to the spread—alongside another shelf devoted to almond butter and another to almonds, which he says help him to get good sleep. His top shelf is stocked with Split, a snack combination of almond butter and some kind of fruit. It’s like peanut butter and jelly in a pouch—minus the bread or personality.
“My teammates make so much fun of me when I’m on the road, because I always have these Split packets with me,” Love says, grabbing a raspberry variety. “You just turn it, split it, and then eat it up,” he goes on, folding the almond butter in half and then squeezing it into his mouth like Go-Gurt. “I’m tellin you, this is really fuckin’ good.”
Split isn’t Love’s only staple meal. Before games, he lunches on chicken, veggies, and avocados. And then he has his pregame “mash”: he combines two eggs, cubes of shredded, wheat, and raspberry jam. “You just… mash it,” Love says. “I might even put some applesauce on there.”
Now that he’s in his offseason, Love gets to cheat, mostly during breakfast. He enjoys brioche French toast, pancakes, waffles with ice cream. For something even sweeter, Love makes stuffed dates with almond butter and dark chocolate.
If he’s not cheating, he’s waking up early. Love says he works out first thing, heading downstairs to the gym in his apartment complex. Love says he’s trying to cut weight as much as he can. “I’m heading into my twelfth season now, so I’m trying to keep the joints and muscles super lubricated and keep them elastic as much as possible.”
For Love, injury prevention drives much of his exercises: stretches to open up his hips, band work for his shoulders, free weights and body weights to build strength. He has every intention of staying on the court during the upcoming season and beyond, especially since former superstars LeBron James and Kyrie Irving left Cleveland in the past few years following their championship in 2016. Love is the team’s sole superstar.
For Love, staying healthy just so happens to also include snow golfing and beach chilling, so he has all the more reason to have some fun over the summer. We say let the man live, internet. You know he takes that almond butter on the road.