Ric Flair Talked About How The Pro Wrestling Lifestyle Fueled His Alcoholism

After a hospital stay that included spending ten days on life support, WWE Hall of Famer Ric Flair is back on his feet, and coming clean about his recent medical emergency. Not long after declaring that he would never drink again, The Nature Boy opened up about the roots of his alcoholism during a phone interview with Dan Le Batard on ESPN Radio:

I just drank too much. The problem is that when I started in the business in 1972, we drove 3000 miles a week, drank beer, road-dogged down the road, threw the cans out the window, all that stuff. No cops … it was just the way of life. Pretty soon it was drinking a beer, getting to the hotel, and then drinking liquor.

I never drank before I worked, even when we did double shots. I wouldn’t even have a beer if I had to wrestle twice in the same day or in between matches. It just became a way of life.

He then went on to explain that while he would remain sober for those double-shots, he would drink in excess afterwards to make up for it, and “get ready for the next day.”

That extreme way of life continued up until his recent health scare, which led him to calculate roughly how much he was drinking every day:

If you’re ready for this, it would be like — I’ve done all my math and figured it out — between 3,700 and 4,000 calories worth of booze — soda, splash of cranberry — in my body every day. Like 20 drinks a day.

To put that number into perspective, the average healthy caloric intake recommended for males over the age of 50 is around 2,000 calories per day, and that number is definitely not supposed to be comprised solely of top shelf liquor. While it’s sad that it took such a severe incident to make him realize that his lifestyle needs a drastic overhaul, I think we can all agree that a healthy and happy Ric Flair is something we’re all pulling for.