Many tennis fans have seen the major tournaments on TV with players taking breaks during matches munching away on bananas and constantly sipping at isotonic drinks.Because of the length of time it can take to play a match then nutrition is an important part of the game.
Having a healthy diet and eating well is a lifestyle choice, one to be advised. While good nutrition is a benefit to everyone, it’s invaluable for tennis players. That’s because so many elements of playing the game, practising, preparing for a match, contesting a match and recovering after competition are all influenced by what you eat.
Many good tennis clubs will help to advise of diet and serve appropriate foods at their clubhouses or club restaurants, Tennis World Chatswood offers both hot and cold food including beverages.
What To Eat Before You Play
Carbohydrates are an important source of energy, but a meal before a match should be balanced containing nutrients, protein and fats.
- High-fibre, low-sugar cereal, with milk and fruit.
- A wholegrain sandwich or roll, with lean protein like chicken or tuna plus salad.
- A moderate serving of pasta or rice.
Let your meal be thoroughly digested before you play otherwise you might suffer cramps, eat two or three hours before playing.
What To Eat During A Match
Because of the nature of tennis you may need to top up your energy stores. Carbohydrate-based snacks, some fruit, or a muesli bar would be perfect. As are liquid meals such as smoothies or milk with Sustagen.
Most sports drinks are also excellent as they also contain carbohydrates, and to munch whilst playing bananas, fruits and even sandwiches with jam and honey.
What To Eat After A Match
After playing your energy stores will have been raided and your immune system compromised, your fluid levels drained through sweating and your muscles sustained micro-trauma.
You need to eat a balanced snack within an hour of the game to address these deficiencies and that will help the body’s healing process.
A milk based drink like a smoothie is ideal; which hydrates, contains protein for muscle repair, and carbohydrates and antioxidants in fruit to restore energy and immune health.
What Foods You Should Eat
There are several nutrients you should be aiming to consume for good health:-
Omega – 3
- Reduces inflammation, aid recovery
- Found in oily fish such as salmon, flax seeds and walnuts.
- Aids in muscle development, strength and repair
- Found in red meat, chicken, fish, eggs, lentils and nuts.
- Promotes bone development, good nerve and muscle function.
- Found in dairy foods, plus almonds, some fish and dark green leafy vegetables.
- Transports oxygen around the body
- Found in red meats, molluscs, pumpkin seeds, nuts and whole grains.
- Protect against oxidative stress in the body.
- Found in berries, fruits, vegetables and green tea.
If you are capable of following the above dietary code then you will definitely reap the benefits and soon feel the difference to your body.