Tennis Player Diet - Sports Nutrition Simplified
Eating well before, during, and after training or an event can dramatically improve not only your performance but also your rate of recovery. It's genuinely about balance - keeping up the right amounts of protein and carbohydrates will help you restore muscle glycogen, maintain steady energy levels and sustain lean muscle mass growth for long-term performance. Please use the simple guidelines below to help you:
Eat a balanced meal approximately 2 hours prior to tennis training or your match. Aim for a ratio of 70% complex carbohydrates and 30% quality protein.
If you have to eat less than 2 hours, make sure it is something light and mainly carbohydrates - like a piece of fruit or crackers. Try to avoid sugar and processed foods.
After tennis training or your match, eat another meal that is approximately 50% carbohydrates, 40% protein, and 10% fat within 30 minutes and then again after two hours. The body will be rebuilding muscle and replenishing energy stores and fluids at this time.
How much protein? A simple guide is to eat 1g per kg body weight per day. For example, if you weigh 25kg have a total of 25g spread out amongst your three meals.
Hydration - Aim to have 500ml of water prior to training, approximately 500 ml during (in small sips), and at least 1L after your event.
TIP: Adding a small pinch of quality Celtic or Himalayan salt to your water can dramatically enhance cellular hydration.
Tennis Nutrition: Superfoods
Beetroot - Beets can boost vasodilation, and oxygen efficiency, and lower blood pressure due to their wealth of nitrates, these root vegetables have been shown to increase endurance by up to 16%.
Coconut Water - Coconut water is the equivalent of nature's gatorade, providing electrolytes needed to maintain hydration and smooth muscle transmission.
Organic Berries - A fantastic source of antioxidants to offset the oxidative damage and inflammation that occurs naturally during exercise.
Tart Cherries - A great natural source of quercetin and melatonin that can aid in muscle recovery and inflammation.
Chia Seeds - These small but mighty seeds can help you maintain energy levels as they are a great source of fiber, slow down glucose release, and assist hydration.
Example of a Good Tennis Diet (Meals and Snacks)
- Rolled oat porridge with nut butter and coconut cream and berries.
- Berry and banana smoothie with chia seeds and nut butter.
- Sourdough toast with smashed avocado, spinach, and a cooked egg.
- Crackers and cheese
- Beetroot and apple juice
- Piece of fruit or banana with peanut butter
- Plain Popcorn and coconut water
- Corn chips with guacamole or hummus
- Dried fruit and nut trail mix
- Fruit smoothie with chia seeds
- Greek yogurt with cherries
- Chicken and salad sandwich on sourdough or wholegrain bread
- Beef and vegetable lasagna with a side salad
- Tuna and salad wrap
- Beef and bean burritos with salad
- Teriyaki salmon stir fry with vegetables
- Chicken meatballs with sweet potato and broccoli
*Tip: Try to be organized - do some meal preparation before your training or an event so you don't have to buy processed packaged foods that don't fuel your body as well.
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