If you talk to some professional tennis players, they’ll probably tell you about the super healthy diet they’re eating. However, in practice, there are very few people who actually eat healthy food all the time rather than in short periods of time and quit and go back to their old diet habits.
Though tennis players look fit on the outside, many of them would be benefit much more from good diets.
For this reason, we came up with a list of foods you should eat before, during and after your tennis match. You’ll also find a list of foods you should include daily.
Before your match:
If breakfast is the most important meal of the day even for people that don’t do sports, imagine its importance for tennis players.
On competition days, a healthy breakfast should include oatmeal, whole wheat, and fruits that are low in calories. These are complex carbs and will give you energy for all your matches during the day. Some amount of protein like egg whites, milk or Greek yogurt could compliment your meal nicely, though protein is more critical for after your match.
Whatever you do, avoid high sugar breakfast because it can make all the energy crash in the middle of your day. It’s because insulin releases for the pancreas to keep the blood sugar level down which can wear you out quickly.
Don’t forget to have your breakfast at least two hours before your match. And always make sure you stretch thoroughly before the match
During the match:
The best snack to eat during your match is a banana. It will keep your blood sugar level steady and give you an energy boost.
Don’t forget to drink water during your match. Players often don’t feel thirsty because of the adrenaline, so make sure to drink some water at least every 15 minutes. If water isn’t your best choice, try coconut water instead of sugary sports drinks. Coconut water is filled with potassium and electrolytes.
After the match:
You lose a lot of energy during your match, which is why it’s important to refuel your body within 2 hours. A high amount of lean protein such as fish or chicken is a well-balanced meal with vegetables, and complex carbohydrates are best for muscle recovery.
Brown rice, whole wheat pasta with buffalo meat or chicken breast is a great recovery meal, too. Add some natural sodium to it like high protein mozzarella cheese.
Foods to include daily:
Zinc– 20mg of zinc a day improves head-eye coordination. These foods are pumpkin seeds, oysters, whole grains, animal protein, sunflower seeds, nuts, almonds, and beans.
Carrots– improve your eyesight
Choline– egg yolks, tomatoes, and potatoes are high in choline that’s a part of the vitamin B family. It’s great for your brain’s neurotransmitters and helps with reaction times.
Vitamin C-citrus fruits and peppers are the best sources of this vitamin that’s ideal for muscle repair.
DMAE-found in certain fish, this food helps transmit messages across your nerves and brain. Good source of DMAE are sardines, salmon, and anchovies.Foods to avoid eating right before a match
- Whole wheat pasta
- Protein shake
- Nuts and seeds