Exclusive: Jessica Alba Shares Her Diet and Fitness Secrets

Updated 05/19/19

Describing Jessica Alba isn't easy. Sure, you could go for the obvious route: successful, beautiful, inspiring. You could focus on her career: actress-turned-entrepreneur-turned-founder-of-a-billion-dollar-company. But really, she's best summed up in just one word: goals.

Seriously—is there anyone as worthy of this declaration than Alba? Her family: goals. Her career trajectory: goals. Her business savvy: goals. Her cheekbones: goals, goals, goals. But the real reason we all love Jessica Alba isn’t because of her business cred or her perfect skin (though we’ll gladly take any and all of her beauty advice, thanks). No, our reverence can be traced back to a simple fact: She is all of these things, but she also magically remains real. She is a mother who encountered a problem and wanted the best for her children so she created a solution (hi, The Honest Company).

She lands the covers of major magazines, but has the same penchant for silly Snapchat filters the rest of us do. She does her friends’ makeup. All of these things make her both revered and relatable—and we’ll gladly take her word as gospel along the way.

With that in mind, we caught up with Alba on the heels of a new launch with Zico (of which she has served as an ambassador for several years) and asked her how she stays healthy (and happy) in the midst of all the madness. Yes, coconut water is part of the equation, but so is hot sauce, a Drake-filled workout playlist, and lots of winking-induced laughter.

Keep scrolling to find out Jessica Alba’s diet and fitness secrets!

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BYRDIE: Describe a typical morning in your life. 

Jessica Alba: I don’t really have a typical morning! Sometimes I wake up and I go workout; sometimes I wake up and jump right into the shower, so it just depends. Lately, I haven’t worked out that much. Usually, my kids wake me up and then I jump in the shower and we meet downstairs for breakfast. I’ll make a smoothie—they love when I make them smoothies. I’ll usually have a coffee, too. 

BYRDIE: What’s in the smoothie?!

JA: I like to make a protein shake. And I make sure there’s plenty of fat in there with almond butter. Then I’ll use Zico coconut water. Depending on whether or not I want a chocolate one or plain one, sometimes I’ll put fruit in it. The kids love it! I like to get them shakes so I can get some protein in them. Chocolate, coconut, almond butter shakes with banana butter! 

BYRDIE: You’ve been working with Zico for awhile now—do you remember the first time you had coconut water?

JA: I discovered it quite a few years ago. I got into hot yoga, and you sweat so much and you lose so much water, so you can get dehydrated. I really love the health benefits that come with coconut water. I think the thing that makes Zico different from other coconut waters is it’s not from concentrate; there’s no added sugar. And it tastes like kind of a treat because it’s sweet. I don’t drink a ton of other types of drinks. I drink coffee, tea, and coconut water—that’s it.

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BYRDIE: If we were to take a look in your fridge right now, what would we find?

JA: I always have hot sauce, coconut water, and almond milk. And my husband likes Lactaid. The kids prefer the chocolate coconut water. We have a lot of condiments in our fridge, and a lot of fresh vegetables and fruits. My husband and children love Girl Scout Cookies—they put them in the freezer. My guilty pleasure is, like, nachos, though. I’ll choose nachos before an ice cream sundae.

BYRDIE: Do you cook? What do you like to make?

JA: My family likes when I make Cornish game hen—or stir fries, pastas, and lasagna. The kids are pretty easy; they like pretty much everything. I like to cook. In the summer, we do a lot of grilling; in the winter, we do roasting. We always have roasted veggies. I kind of like to cook anything depending on the weather. If I ever wrote another book, I’d want to do a cookbook. I’d love the excuse to cook for six weeks. It’d be the dream. Each meal would have to be 20 minutes; I like to cook fast.

BYRDIE: Favorite healthy snacks—go!

JA: I love popcorn. I eat that at the office every day. I make popcorn with Himalayan sea salt and coconut oil. That’s pretty much it! At home, we do fresh vegetables and hummus.

BYRDIE: What’s your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?

JA: I love avocado toast and poached eggs. That’s my favorite breakfast.

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BYRDIE: What are some of your favorite ways to work out?

JA: I really like taking group classes, or I like to work out with friends. I like high-intensity workouts; I like moving around a lot. I don’t like a lot of repetition. I like Spin classes, depending on the teacher and the playlist. I do like hot yoga classes, if it’s done at a good pace. I prefer it mixed in with light weights, so like a sculpting hot yoga class. I’ll always work out with a friend because it’s more fun.

BYRDIE: You mentioned a good workout playlist—what’s always on yours?

JA: I definitely always have Drake, Jay-Z, Kanye, I have some new artists that I’ve been listening to a lot. I like any kind of West Coast rapper—usually more hip-hop and rap and less pop music. 

BYRDIE: Do you have a least favorite workout?

JA: I hate doing one-legged squats with weights. I hate plyometrics. Any jumping or squatting… I want to die. It makes me feel nauseous. As for running, I feel like I have to work myself up to it—I have to train to get to a point where I can run. It’s not natural. I have to get fit enough to run!

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BYRDIE: What was the last thing that made you laugh uncontrollably?

JA: My daughter, a four-year-old, has this very strange habit of winking at me. She makes eye contact at me at random times and winks. I think it’s hilarious. And it’s so random. It’s just like one wink. That’s it. A little wink and moving on.

It's funny and cute and weird—what four-year-old does that? She was in my friend’s wedding and she was sitting at the altar when they were doing the vows. And apparently she was staring at the bride the entire time and winking! She kind of just stares you down and winks. It’s hilarious.

BYRDIE: If you could share your number one piece of healthy living advice to our readers, what would it be?

JA: I think staying hydrated is really important. Especially since Byrdie is a beauty-focused website. So, just making sure you do stay hydrated for glowing skin and high energy. It’s important for overall health. And I think making sure that you make the right choices in terms of your environment. Always try to have as many fresh and natural things in your diet as possible and the least amount of processed things and things that have unnatural sugars.

For glowing skin like Alba's, try Honest Beauty's Everything Primer Glow ($22) or Charlotte Tilbury's Wonderglow ($55)

Now that you know her healthy living tips, click here to find out Jessica Alba's beauty secrets!

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