How to Eat Like a Tennis Pro

August 31, 2013

Must See Tennis Videos

The longest tennis match in history lasted a staggering 11 hours and five minutes. This is certainly not the norm, but as a tennis player, you must be ready to compete for every point during long and grueling matches.

This means you must focus on your nutrition. The average tennis player burns up to 800 calories per hour during competition. Energy is paramount.

You may not play at a professional level, but fueling like a pro is simple. Follow these four tips to feel fresh and energized throughout a match.

Eat Fruit Before and After Your Match

Revamp your pre-match fuel and post-match recovery by eating fruit. Fruit carbohydrates energize your muscles and provide antioxidants to repair cell damage and reduce exercise inflammation. Many fruits also have fiber, which aids in digestion.

Any fruit you can eat is better than nothing. However, it's best to focus on potassium-rich options, such as bananas, pineapples, kiwifruit, and dried apricots, plums and dates. Potassium is essential for muscle contractions during exercise, and it helps the muscles relax when you're finished.

Tip: Pair a banana or dates with peanut butter, or pineapple or kiwifruit with cheese, for a more energetic snack. Your muscles will thank you!

When to eat it: One or two servings before and/or after a match or workout.

Ditch Unhealthy Food Bars

On-the-go "fitness bars" clutter the market, but not all are healthy. Many are loaded with sugar and unnatural ingredients. Always look at the nutrition label before making your selection.

KIND Bars are my go-to option for tennis players. They are made with wholesome ingredients like nuts, dried fruit and honey, which give players the energy they need to make it through a long match.

Tip: Sprinkle KIND granola into Greek Yogurt for a protein- and carb-rich snack.

When to eat it: Between meals or before a match.

Full Disclosure: I worked with my friends at KIND Snacks on this list of recipes.

Chug Some Chocolate Milk

Yes, you can and should drink chocolate milk. A full glass of this delicious beverage provides the perfect blend of carbohydrates and protein to replenish muscle energy stores (glycogen) and stimulate muscle growth and recovery. The phosphorus in milk reduces muscle soreness after an intense match, which is guaranteed to put a smile on your face.

Tip: Create a similar drink by adding two tablespoons of honey to 1- or 2-percent milk to boost its carbohydrate content.

When to drink it: 30 minutes after a match or workout or as part of a meal to boost your calorie intake.

Eat Power Protein

Protein-rich foods do more than build muscle. (I'm thinking of protein powder). Ideally, any source of protein should also contain omega-3 fatty acids (i.e., healthy fats) to reduce inflammation, alleviate muscle soreness and improve joint and brain health. My favorite options include tuna, salmon, anchovies and lamb.

Tip: Sauté anchovies with tomatoes, onions and garlic and use it as a spread for sandwiches and wraps. Another favorite is my easy lamb korma with vegetables and coconut quinoa.

When to eat it: Any meal, or as part of your recovery meal.

Read more:

Sources: 

Topics: TENNIS
Rebecca Scritchfield
- Rebecca Scritchfield is a Washington D.C.-based registered dietitian and fitness expert who specializes in realistic approaches to healthy lifestyles. She inspires people to change their...
Rebecca Scritchfield
- Rebecca Scritchfield is a Washington D.C.-based registered dietitian and fitness expert who specializes in realistic approaches to healthy lifestyles. She inspires people to change their...

Featured Videos

Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Tim Tebow's NFL Off-Season Workout Views: 152,830
Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Path to the Pros 2015: Trae Waynes Views: 80,325
Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Path to the Pros 2015: Marcus Mariota Views: 1,268,862
Load More

Resources

STACK Fitness

Everything you need to be fitter than ever

STACK Conditioning

Sport-specific conditioning programs

Coaches and Trainers

Tips and advice for coaches and trainers

Magazine

Latest issues of STACK Magazine

STACK 4W

Women's sports workout, nutrition and lifestyle advice

Gamer

Gaming, entertainment and tech news

Basic Training

Military-style training for athletes

News

Find the latest news relevant to athletes

Most Popular Videos

Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds Peyton Manning Dumbbell Bench With 80+ Pounds
Views: 43,536,765
Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied Drew Brees Will Not Be Denied
Views: 12,144,153
Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout Colin Kaepernick's Core Workout
Views: 896,437
Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill Robert Griffin III Pocket Presence QB Drill
Views: 6,866,240
Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill Ohio State Football Open Field Plyo Drill
Views: 9,501,332

Load More
More Cool Stuff You'll Like
7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

7 Foods That Are Ruining Your Workouts

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

3 Fruits and 3 Vegetables Athletes Must Eat

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

How Friends and Family Affect Your Food Choices

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

9 Foods to Eat When You Want to Lose Fat

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

9 Athlete-Approved Peanut Butter Sandwiches

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

6 Healthy Foods You're Overeating

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Healthy Eating at Restaurants: Decoding a Diner Menu

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

Fuel Up Fast With 4 Smoothies From the New York Giants

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

5 Simple Food Swaps That Make Eating Out Healthier

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

5 Ways Junk Food Can Mess With Your Head

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

4 'Bad Foods' That Might be Good for You

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

5 Protein-Packed Recovery Shakes

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

Brown Rice vs. White Rice: Does It Really Matter?

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

5 Foods That Are Stunningly High in Sodium

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

Binge Eating Disorder and Athletes

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Healthiest (And Unhealthiest) Ways to Eat Chicken

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

The Grain Guide: How and Why to Use 8 Healthy Whole Grains

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

5 'Good Foods' That Might Be Bad for You

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

You Should Eat the Peel of These 12 Fruits and Vegetables

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Best Foods for Digestive Health

The Boston Cannons' ‘Keep It Real’ Eating Plan

The Boston Cannons' 'Keep It Real' Eating Plan

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

5 Healthy Foods That Got a Bad Rap

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Small Change, Big Difference: 5 Foods You Should Buy Organic

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

Healthy (and Unhealthy) BBQ Ideas For Athletes

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

How Undereating Can Make You Gain Weight

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

Why You Should Say No to Diet Foods

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

What to Eat If You Hate Bananas

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

5 Delicious Ways to Make Junk Food Less Junky

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Where the Paleo Diet Falls Short

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

Vegetarian Athlete Tips: Olympic Swimmer Kate Ziegler

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

STUDY: Eat More Fruits and Veggies, Live (Almost) Forever

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

Healthy Makeovers for 3 Classic Meals

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

A Sneaky Food Additive Athletes Should Avoid

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

6 Eating Mistakes That Undo Your Workouts

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

How Marc Gasol Got Better by Overhauling His Diet

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

Cookout Commandments: What to Eat (and Avoid) at Your Summer BBQ

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

12 Foods Every Athlete Should Eat

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

The Cheat Meal Day: Why It's Not So Smart

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Load Up on These Foods at Your Backyard Barbecue

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

Are You Eating Too Much Protein?

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

11 Food Services That Deliver Ready-Made Nutritious Meals

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

10 Athlete-Approved High-Protein Cereals

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

Salad Showdown: Which Greens Are the Healthiest?

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

How to Eat Healthy at a Dingy Sports Bar

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

Terrible Toppings: The 5 Worst Things We Put on Food

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

5 'Healthy' Side Dishes That Are Worse Than French Fries

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

Registered Dietitians Reveal Their Favorite Ways to Eat Fruit

YardBarker