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The Importance Of Sports Nutrition For A Tennis Player

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Health & Wellness

The Importance Of Sports Nutrition For A Tennis Player

Tennis is as much a mental game as it is a game that is dependent on technique. A gifted player who does not eat properly will likely lose to an average player in terms of technical attributes who eat a proper diet. 

A tennis player who does not eat properly is likely to perform very badly on the court. Competitive tennis players are required to be able to withstand 3-5 hours of high energy action on the court. 

During the days leading up to a match, tennis players need to ensure that they are focusing on increasing their carbohydrate by 10%-15% of their daily intake. Doing this forces the body to store more energy that can be used during the match. 

Sports nutrition is imperative for every sport. It is especially imperative for a sport such as tennis which is highly demanding in terms of energy consumption. 

In a few other sports, one may get away with not eating healthily if the sport is not extremely injury sapping.

The type of carbohydrate also matters. You can ill-afford to have unhealthy carbohydrates. You will need to concentrate on whole grains. These include foods such as brown rice, whole grain bread, whole-wheat pasta, and oatmeal. 

Top five best Sports Nutrition Certificate Options 

Are you keen on embarking on a career in sports nutrition? Or keen on learning more about it? 

The following are good online sports nutrition certifications that you can consider. 

  • International Sports Sciences Association of Nutrition Certification
  • American Fitness Professionals and Associates Sports Nutrition Certification
  • National Exercise and Sports Trainers Association Fitness Nutrition Coach
  • National Council on Strength and Fitness Sports Nutrition Specialist
  • National Sports Performance Association Sports Nutrition Coach
  • International Society of Sports Nutrition Sports Nutrition Specialist

Tennis is highly-demanding 

Competitive tennis involves regular bursts of high intensity running for a few hours. In addition to requiring a high level of hand-eye coordination, tennis also requires a well-developed anaerobic energy system and good aerobic capacity. 

nadal-us-open-2018-monday

PHOTO SOURCE: ATP Tour

It can be very challenging during competitive tennis tournaments when athletes may have to play games within a day or two. As training for tennis can be intense, nutrition plans for players have to be periodized.

A diet that is high in nutrient-rich carbohydrate foods will help to maintain energy levels and promote muscle healing during high-intensity energy-sapping sessions. When training is lighter, carbohydrate intake will have to be reduced. 

A good nutritional plan is a must 

The nutritional requirements for a player can be determined by their training load, training goals, health, and age. The training nutrition should contain a combination of lean proteins for muscle repair and recovery with nutrient-dense carbohydrates. Foods which are important include fruit, vegetable, nuts, seeds, and whole grains.

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A body type that consists of high muscle mass and low body fat levels is ideal for a tennis player. This will allow for quick movement over space and quick hand movements. Staying hydrated during tennis sessions and matches is important.

As tennis is an energy-sapping sport, it usually results in the body losing fluids.

Playing in humid or hot conditions can lead to heavy sweat loss and electrolyte loss. The timing of matches also makes it especially important to focus on the timing of matches. 

During matches and high-intensity training sessions, drinking fluids at regular intervals is important. This will help to replace lost electrolytes.

Everyone has different nutritional needs 

Every individual will have different energy intake needs. As a result, it is advisable to speak to a nutritionist to determine your own needs. If you play on a high-level, it is especially important to do this. 

Tennis is a sport which is played throughout the year. It is mostly played in warm conditions. As a result, it is important for players to learn to be versatile and adaptive to warm weather. 

tennis player drinking water

Hydrate, hydrate… HYDRATE!

Competitive players can train for between 25-40 hours per week.  During practice and games, it is advisable to keep an ice-pack available in order to keep cool. The choice of drink that you use during practice and games is also important. 

In order to get maximum output, one should ensure that the drink they consume is high in electrolyte content. Some examples of this include refuel and rehydrate. 

Seek a nutritionist if you can afford to

If you can afford to, it is best to seek advice from a professional nutritionist. Everyone’s body is different and unique. There is always a chance that an online diet may not be suitable for you. 

A professional nutritionist will be able to determine a diet plan which is suitable for your body and which will help you to achieve your health goals. 

It is also important to analyze what is on the diet of top tennis players. This will help amateur players to understand what they need to eat to take their game to the next level. Meat, pasta, and potatoes appear to be on the top of all tennis player’s lists.

What snacks are good for tennis players? 

Snacks that are suitable for consumption prior to tennis practice or games include yogurt, fruit salad or fresh fruit, dried fruit and nut mix, rice cakes with peanut butter and banana, and fruit bread/buns.

Foods like these Strawberry Banana Oatmeal Belgian Waffles with Greek Yogurt will fuel for your morning match or workout!

Some competitors prefer not to eat during games or practice. Eating during active sessions can cause some to feel uncomfortable. Those who prefer not to have solid foods can also have a fruit smoothie or protein shake. 

What do the top tennis players eat? 

Prior to tennis matches, Roger Federer only eats one meal and that is the carbohydrate-rich Pasta. Federer also loves chocolates and nibbles on them during matches. 

Pasta is a good choice of meal prior to engaging in any form of high-energy task. This is because it provides the body with a good dose of energy. It is ideal to eat fresh food rather than processed food. 

Carrots help to promote healthy eyesight. Good eyesight can help your tennis game significantly. Vitamin C which is found in pepper and citrus fruit can improve hand-eye coordination. 

Choline which is found in tomatoes, egg yolks, and potatoes feed the neurotransmitters of your brain and will improve nutrition times. 

Eating healthily will not only improve your game on the court, but it will also raise your self-confidence, motivation, and enthusiasm towards the game. 

Healthy and proper eating is, thus, something that everyone should aim to do. It could determine whether you achieve relative success in the game- regardless of your technical ability. 

With enthusiasm, dedication, and a willingness to learn, nearly everyone can eat healthily. 

It can be hard but the rewards make it well worth it!


Tyler ReadAbout our guest author:

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Tyler Read is the owner of ptpioneer.com which is a website dedicated to helping people get started in the personal training industry. He helps people discover, study, and pass their fitness exams. Check out his free videos for the latest trends.

We enjoy sharing fresh content, and some of the best comes from our guest authors. We hope you enjoy reading them as much as we enjoyed sharing them!

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