A balanced diet is the key to success for any sportsman, and there is no difference if you want to be a tennis star. Tennis players are incredible athletes and they need to be in shape to perform well. The critical part of staying fit is to observe what you eat. Want to be a professional tennis player? Great! This article is for you. Read out the do’s and don’ts of tennis players diet and be an ultimate sportsman.
What you eat reflects your performance on the tennis court. Therefore, it is essential to focus on your diet. Especially the beginners should follow an optimum tennis diet plan to mark their names among champions.
Tennis players are keenly aware of the demands of the game. Intense training in the gym and tennis court is not enough unless you maintain a perfect balance of carbohydrates, proteins, vitamins, healthy fats, minerals, and fluids. A strict diet throughout challenging tournaments increases your chances of victory.
Most popular tennis players like Novak, Maria Sharapova, Andy Murray, and many others have shared their health regimes to help newcomers step into the game. Hence, we have compiled all the crucial elements of their athletic diet plan to guide you the best.
ULTIMATE DIET FOR TENNIS PLAYERS
Let us check out the ultimate diet plan that will bring a massive change in your performance.
PLAN YOUR MEALS
Those who want to be listed among the famous tennis stars should keep in mind that fresh and organic foods are much better to consume than processed and ready-made items.
The process of becoming a tennis professional starts with a healthy breakfast. Carbohydrates are the power boosters that keep you going through the match. Oatmeal, whole wheat items, and low-calorie fruits are the best options to start the day.
Besides this, a small portion of protein can complement these carbs for a perfect and healthy breakfast. Egg, milk, or Greek yogurt aids best in this. It is essential to highlight that a budding tennis player or professional player must have their breakfast a couple of hours before their match.
HYDRATING THE BODY
Proper intake of fluids is the crucial element of tennis players’ diet. Consume as much liquid as possible. It is essential to drink water or any other tennis sports drink every 15 minutes during the game or whenever you feel thirst.
Hydrating your body the right way keeps up your energy level high. Besides this, it maintains the power and strength that keeps you going on a 5+ hour match. Sports drinks with less or no sugar are preferable to water because they contain carbohydrates.
Sweating during training or matches results in a massive loss of sodium. Sports drinks replace the lost sodium and keep you hydrated and fresh. Coconut water is an excellent natural drink for a tennis athlete. Avoid sodas, processed juices, or any other sugary beverages.
Coconut water serves as a great post work out drink that delivers a high concentration of lost electrolytes. Not only this, the natural drink replenishes your body with essential nutrients like calcium, magnesium, sodium, phosphorus, and potassium. Next to this, it contains less than one percent of natural sugar. Fresh coconut water is preferred over the bottled ones.
A perfect snack during a match is a banana which keeps the blood sugar levels steady. Tennis stars rely on this energy booster fruit to play with maximum energy on the courts.
According to Maria Sharapova;
“If someone tells me to eat a banana, do you think that’s the reason why I am going to win a match? This is a bit of great advice; we should tell all the junior players too, you know, have a banana, and they’re all going to win. Great”
Bananas are an excellent combination of carbohydrates, proteins, essential vitamins, and minerals. The high carbohydrate content strengthens stamina and provides instant energy to the players.
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FUEL UP YOUR BODY WITH SOME EXTRA NUTRIENTS
Here comes an additional component of our tennis player diet plan; the supplements. Maybe your balanced diet nourishes you with all the essential nutrients, but the tough sports call for something extra. The tedious and long hours of training and gym practice can suppress your immunity.
Supplements emerge as recovering tools that compensate for the lost nutrients. At the same time, it delivers the desired nutrient that you are not getting from your diet.
A health practitioner can guide you better about the intake of supplements. But we have listed a few that will help your body to execute the optimum performance.
Zinc is an essential nutrient that can be lost via sweat. Some magnesium supplements also contain an adequate amount of zinc. Check out the description on the bottle or consult your physician.
RECOVER THE IRON DEFICIENCIES
Most female athletes are prone to iron deficiencies. A Swiss review revealed that 52% of teenage female athletes were found with low iron levels. This can cause adverse symptoms and leaves a negative impact on their performance.
Especially the athletes following vegetarian diets have low iron levels. We always prefer to recover your deficiencies through diet, but if not possible, then you must take iron supplements to fulfill your body needs.
Self-medication is always prohibited. Consult your doctor before taking any supplement. Iron supplements are suggested after screening your iron levels through a blood test. Athletes with sufficient iron should stay away from those pills, as taking too much iron can be dangerous.
FISH OIL CAPSULES
These incredible supplements contain fatty acids that reduce inflammation because of intense workouts and harsh training. EPA and DHA are the essential fatty acids that you can get from fish oil capsules.
POWDERED MAGNESIUM SUPPLEMENTS
This electrolyte is also drained through sweating, or the athlete with a poor diet plan may lack a sufficient amount of magnesium in their body. Go for a powdered magnesium supplement for the best results.
VITAMIN C INTAKE
Beware of the seasonal cold that can destroy your performance in the tournament. Vitamin C supplements strengthen the immune system and decrease the symptoms of the common cold.
EXTRA CALCIUM AND VITAMIN D
The unstoppable athletic performance is unattainable without strong bones. Go for calcium-rich foods like dairy products, dark green vegetables, fish with soft bones, soy milk, etc. You might use some calcium and vitamin D supplements to reduce the chances of bone fractures.
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DIET FOR A TENNIS PLAYER ON THE MATCHDAY
Prepare yourself for the life-changing event -the match day. For morning matches, wake up early and get your breakfast at least 2 hours before the game. If you have an afternoon game, make sure to have your lunch 2-3 hours earlier. The same three hours pre-meal is recommended for late-night matches as well.
Design a perfect combination of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins through your meal. Moreover, go for easily digestible carbohydrates for quick digestion. You can get them from fruits, low fibre cereals, or bread. Besides this, including a small number of proteins with these carbohydrates will keep you highly energetic throughout the game.
Do we forget something? Yes! The water. Keep the hydrating process continued before, during, and after the match.
Also read our guide about tennis racquet stiffness.
TENNIS DIET DURING THE MATCH
The wait is over, and the tennis players diet’s central aspect has arrived—the moment for which you have made uncountable efforts and sacrifices; the match.
Don’t forget that hydration is the key. Drink about 20 to 30 ounces of liquid per hour. Apart from water, you can use a concentrated electrolyte beverage to recover energy loss. More than that, it improves muscle contraction and nerve impulses as well.
Besides sports drinks, consume tennis snacks to hit your carbohydrate needs. As discussed earlier, banana aids best to this. You can also take dates, energy gels, or homemade energy bites during the match.
POST MATCH TENNIS FOOD
Hopefully, you nailed it! But that is not enough. Recovering your body for advanced tournaments is very important. Let us discuss post-match tennis food for fast recovery.
Hydration is a mandatory step for post-match recovery. In addition to this, consume fresh fruit and vegetables to obtain antioxidants. These will help in reducing muscle soreness and inflammation. Not only this, it will refresh you for the next match. Furthermore, adding some proteins will stop the muscle breakdown.
WHAT DO TENNIS PLAYERS EAT?
We are always interested in the activities of celebrities. As a tennis enthusiast, you will be curious to know what do your favorite tennis players eat. Aren’t you? We have collected some interesting facts about the eating preferences of famous tennis stars. Let’s check them out.
ROGER FEDERER DIET
How can you be unfamiliar with this name? The tennis freaks go crazy about the Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer. He has won a million hearts with his record-breaking victories.
Behind the scene, Roger Federer’s diet plays a vital role in his success. He usually prefers healthy food that includes proteins, complex carbs, vitamins, and minerals. You will be surprised to know that your beloved tennis star is a pizza lover.
Federer gives a sweet start to his day with waffles. Fresh orange juice, coffee, and a shot of apple cider vinegar are other components of his breakfast. At the same time, bananas, protein, and chocolate bars are his favorite munching snacks.
He usually ends his day by hitting a quality restaurant and likes Indian, Swiss, Japanese, and Italian cuisines. Federer rewards himself with wines and champagne to celebrate the victory.
NOVAK DJOKOVIC’S GLUTEN-FREE DIET PLAN
Novak was discovered with an allergy to gluten food items. Since then, he shifted himself to a gluten-free diet plan that brought a striking change in his enactment.
He often consumes muesli with fruits and green veggies as his breakfast. While bananas, berries, sunflower seeds, sliced almonds, golden raisins, almond milk, oats, and sliced apples are his preferable lunch items.
Novak’s all-time favorite pre-match meal is pasta with olive oil, garlic cloves, asparagus, and vegan cheese. Novak hydrates himself with isotonic gels during the match. Lastly, Fish, carrot ginger soup, and sea bass are mostly his post-recovery eatables.
CAROLINE WOZNIACKI’S EATING PREFERENCES
Believe it or not, Caroline is a veggie lover. Her favorite food is broccoli, and sometimes she replaces it with asparagus or spinach.
Caroline loves to eat pancakes for her breakfast. Besides this, she obstructs her diet plan with warm chocolate cake and vanilla ice cream if not scheduled to play a match.
Like Novak, she prefers pasta as her pre-match meal. At the same time, her German drink restores the lost potassium during the game. She has seen eating bananas and energy bars on the screen for energy-boosting.
After matches, she lays into a lavish dinner which contains chicken, steak, or turkey lining with some rice and potatoes.
If you want to become future tennis star, follow these tennis players diet.
DIET FOR A TEENAGE PLAYER
How can we forget our little champions in this debate? Teenage players crave more junk food rather than following a healthy diet plan. But it’s pretty unhealthy and can obstruct your success. Feed your tummies with the goodness of essential nutrients you can get from following this segment- diet for a teenage tennis player.
The teenage tennis players diet should include whole grains, fruits, dairy products, and green vegetables. Give an athletic beginning to your day with a healthy breakfast. Replace those bakery items with whole-grain cereals, low-fat yogurt, and fruits. Apart from this, keep an eye on your fluid intake.
Satisfy your pre and post-match cravings with good fats, carbohydrates, proteins, and fats.
VEGETARIAN DIET FOR A TENNIS PLAYER
Vegetarian athletes often face difficulties in selecting a good nutrition plan that matches their athletic pursuits. But not anymore! Read out the below-listed information about a vegetarian diet for a tennis player and bring the trophy home.
Meat provides protein, iron, and healthy fats to fulfill sport’s needs. Skipping it means you might lack these three primary nutrients. Luckily there’s a solution for our vegans to prevent nutrient deficiencies.
Include legumes and grain products in your meals to get enough B vitamins. Soy milk, cereals, and tofu can also help you with this. Moreover, legumes, grains, and dark leafy greens are rich in iron. Consume these with citrus fruits for maximum iron absorption.
Next to this, protein shakes are vegan-friendly energy boosters that can substitute the meat proteins.
It is not easy to become a successful tennis player, neither impossible. Your hard work, dedication, and special tennis players diet can take you to your destination. Don’t forget “you are what you eat” and keep up the excellent work.