Tennis Players nutrition

Having correct and healthy nutrition is one of the best things that can happen to a tennis player, as it is an essential part of a competitive tennis player’s training regimen. A proper diet should have well balanced and healthy foods. Most players have been faced with the question of what to eat before playing in a tennis match. During this review, I shall be delving into all the kinds of food that tennis players can and should eat.

A diet rich in carbohydrates is essential when seeking to enjoy endurance and performance when playing. The reason for this is not so farfetched, as carbohydrates are responsible for fuelling high-intensity work, which in turn means the energy needed to traverse the court, make serves, and return the ball is well accounted for. Carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in the muscles, and by consuming small quantities of carbohydrates, there will inevitably be regular maintenance of glycogen levels.

It is highly recommended that you opt for food that is familiar and known to settle hunger, as this can be easily and quickly digested. As a tennis player, you should also choose food that is high in carbohydrate, as this essentially helps to send energy to muscle reserves. An example of foods that can be eaten pre-match for a tennis player includes apples, grapes, bananas, raisins, bagels, dried apricots, oatmeal, granola bars, whole wheat crackers, English muffins, whole wheat pita bread, reduced-fat fruit yogurt, pasta with a little butter, and wholegrain bread.

When you eat before a game, it helps prevent the occurrence of having low blood sugar. Knowing your body system goes a long way to help in choosing what food to eat. For instance, some people can comfortably eat a full meal a couple of minutes before undergoing a rigorous workout, while other players that have sensitive stomachs would probably have to wait for about three to four hours. However, it has been observed that if a meal of about 500-600 calories is eaten by a 180-pound man two hours to a workout, then he should be okay.

Also, smaller snacks of about 300 calories should be consumed an hour to exercise. Bearing in mind that we are all unique individuals with different needs, you should know that you are allowed to experiment with the meal size and timing to match up with your individual needs. In essence, what food you choose to eat and when you eat before a tennis match would make a massive difference in how well you can perform.

So you need to take more time to plan and prepare your pre-match food and snacks, as this would help to ensure that you can go the distance needed and compete very hard when playing in your next match. In case there are some other foods that you have enjoyed eating before playing a tennis match, then watch this space for further explanations and clarifications.

Back to the Basics

The need for correct tennis nutrition for competitive tennis players has now become far more critical than it ever was in today’s game of tennis. This is because modern tennis now entails playing a more athletic game and also being able to meet up with its physically demanding criterions on the various joints and muscles of the tennis player. And as such, it is essential to practice and learn the proper tennis nutrition diets.

Even when tennis is played at a moderate or high level, it can be a very physically demanding sport that does not come with any time clock. It would leave most players out, and even the fittest of them feeling wrung out and exhausted after a very long match. Tennis is most often played during the warmer months, thus increasing the stress on the body when it is played.

Having proper tennis nutrition is very important for most tennis players, as whoever plays the sport regularly needs to feel good before, during, and after a match has been played. For players who usually play in tournaments, this is quite important as he or she needs to recover quickly and on time and be able to perform the following day correctly or even on the same day later.

If you do not pay attention to what enters your body, be sure your institution would also respond in kind. What this means is that tennis players have to pay attention to what they put into their mouths. Summarily, this means there is a need to closely monitor what you eat and drink as a tennis player if you are interested in thoroughly enjoying the tennis sport. Someone once compared the game of tennis to a thousand sprints, and boy was he right!

The sport requires that you make fast, precise, and repeated anaerobic movements that would have to be performed over several hours. Tennis allows room for the body to have a full workout, just like what some other sports also offer. Having proper and reasonable tennis nutrition helps tennis players to focus on several aspects like; High-energy foods, adequate hydration, and perfect timing of the food input.

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Pre-Match Tennis Nutrition

When considering what to eat before a game in the form of a snack, you need to know that it has to be consumed about an hour to the big match, so then, you can eat: a banana, fruit yogurt, water, energy bar, or even 20 oz. of sports drink.

It should be equally important to you that when you seek to try out sound tennis nutrition, then your hydration level is very significant and essential to you, contrary to the myth that your hydration level is not so important. Try your best to avoid or limit completely beverages that are caffeinated before, during, and after match play, such as coffee, coffee drinks, iced teas, and colas.

These beverages might even lead to an additional loss of fluid as urine before the match starts. Additionally, ensure you chill about 2 liters of your favorite drink a night to your events, such as a sports drink or water, so that it would be equally okay and cold during your match. At the very least, all players are required to hold a minimum of about 2 liters of liquid with them during a game.

Carbohydrate Loading

Carbohydrate loading is known as a nutrition strategy that aims to bring an increase to the total amount of energy that is stored up in your body, which can be used during exercising. The idea of carbohydrate loading is not the same as eating a meal high in carbohydrates before the match. Instead, it means taking in meals that are rich in carbohydrates, and doing so some days before the event, as it is not concerned with just the hours.

Carbohydrate loading has been referred to as an efficient and effective strategy used to bring about an improvement in performance levels during exercise events which last longer than the usual 90 minutes. Nutrition is quite needed, especially during times when there are multiple games every day for duration of time, and if they are played for over 2-3 days.        

Your body would require an awful amount of energy to be able to perform exceedingly well during each of the games. You could start prepping your body by taking meals that are rich in carbohydrates about a day or two to the start of the competition, as the intensity of practices reduces. The sugars would then be broken by your body and then stored up in the muscles in the form of energy.

Tennis Nutrition In-Match Play – Hydration

Fluids should be taken with an interval of 15 minutes or more during a game, regardless of how thirsty you are. It has been observed over the years that thirst is not a good indicator of hydration. In case you feel. Otherwise, you could do well to ask any individual who has suffered a heat stroke. They would most likely tell you that they did not feel so thirsty before they collapsed.

Try to take a little liquid during changeovers, whether you do not feel like it or you do. This can be done by gulping down about 6-10 oz. of fluid at 25 minutes interval to gain optimum hydration. People prefer sports drinks to water since they have electrolytes and carbohydrates electrolytes, such as sodium. When a player takes in carbohydrates in the course of playing, he or she then can enjoy more accuracy and power, as studies have shown.

Such carbs can be absorbed quickly and used by the working muscles. When you sweat, you tend to lose quite a lot of sodium, so you would need to replace that with a fantastic sports drink. If you need a great guideline to enjoy the best sports drink, then you need to look for one that has 17g of electrolytes and carbohydrates. They are perfect for consumption during gameplay

Tennis Nutrition

After playing and winning your favorite match, you shouldn’t celebrate by going to the Dairy Queen! Instead, continue with your healthy practice of sound tennis nutrition so that this way, you’re ready and prepped to have a go at your next challenge. Once the game ends, you would have to eat foods and take beverages that add back to the muscle energy stores plus the electrolytes that have been lost during the competition.

Because of this, you should try to consume some carbohydrates as soon as you can, even if it is 30 minutes after a match. You should drink your sports drink as you walk off in victory and triumph, then proceed to take a high-carb meal that has surplus protein too. This would help maximize the recovery of muscle glycogen that would help to activate protein synthesis present in your muscles. You shouldn’t shift from taking the sodium, either.

This is because you lost quite a lot during your game, so it is reasonable to want to salt your food a little and drink and eat things that naturally contain sodium. Try to avoid high-protein and high-fat and meals, as they mostly cause dehydration. Just because you won the game does not imply that you do not have to be bothered about staying hydrated.

Things to Note When Practicing Healthy Tennis Nutrition Habits

On the few days that you’re not on the tennis court playing a match or even preparing for one, you need to practice proper and healthy tennis nutrition and a well-balanced diet to stay lean and fit. You should have noticed over time that there are not so many famous tennis players who possess huge pot bellies or even rail-thin arms.

That should send a message to you that you have to be fit to also be on top of your game, and the things mentioned earlier do not necessarily help you achieve that. Develop the habit of maintaining a healthy diet which is based heavily on vegetables, light on red meat, quite light on fast food and fried food altogether. You should also try to bring your soda consumption to a minimum, i.e., if you even drink them at all.

No one’s stopping you from indulging your sweet tooth once in a while, but don’t base your life on sugar highs and also the inevitable lows that follow it. In the same light, if you train or play regularly, avoid skimping on the calories. You might be preoccupied with the thoughts of maintaining your fabulous figure, but if you burn tons of calories every day by playing the tennis sport, you then need to be so sure that your eating habits are well to help replenish and freshen your body.

Say No to Fast Foods!

It is quite evident that some players have consistently won while consuming tons of fast food and drinking more alcohol than they are probably meant to, for instance. It is also apparent that many players move to the next levels when they decide to pay more attention to what they consume.

That is the main reason why a lot of the top professionals own their chefs to aid them in maintaining a well-balanced, complete and structured diet, while also eating the foods that would help lengthen their careers. Even if you are not a professional player, eating healthily would serve to prolong your career as well, as it gives you the room to live a longer life and enjoy more years while playing the fantastic lifetime sport of tennis.

As described above, if you practice the right tennis nutrition, you would definitely look better, feel better, and also play better. Consuming the right beverages and foods in the adequate amounts would make your case a win-win and the same for other tennis players of any age.

famous tennis players daily nutrition


Diet Before Game

Diet During Game

Diet After Game

Diet Not In Day Game

Rafael Nadal

Pasta and Seafood

Banana and energy drinks


Fish and Paella

Roger Federer

Pasta and fresh juice

Chocolate Energy Bars and Banana



Novak Djokovic

Pasta with olive oil, garlic cloves and vegetables

Energy Bars and Banana

Fish with Mango and Papaya Sala

Fruit, Vegetables and gluten-free diet

Serena Williams

Turkey Sausage and Baked Potato

Energy Drinks

cheese pizza and French fries


Venus Williams

Sweet potatoes and Rice

Energy Drinks

Green salad and Tomatoes

Kale and Chicken Breast Salad

Caroline Wozniacki


Energy Bars and Banana

Steak or Chicken, Rice and Potatos

Vegetables, Chicken and Pancakes

Simona Halep

Pasta with olive oil

Energy Bars and Banana



5 Foods to Eat Before Tennis Competition:

Oatmeal with fruit: This can be entirely taken as a morning snack before a competition in the afternoon, grain provides long-lasting energy, and is well-tolerated. The added fruit would give you that much needed quick jolt of energy required to start your engine.

Banana sandwich or Peanut butter and jelly: Just like small sandwiches, snacks contain a variety of carbohydrates, and they help to replenish and maximize glycogen stores. By adding peanut butter to the meal, you get healthy fat and protein, which would help to provide you with enough energy to last you through the long-winded matches.

Low-Fat or Non-Fat Chobani Greek Yogurt with Fruit or Cereal: it is a fact that Greek yogurt is a perfect real food pre-workout fuel that comes pre-packed with carbohydrates and protein. It is very straightforward and easy to eat, and you can decide to add cereal or fruit to get an extra energy burst.

Toast Slice of Low-Fat Cheese: Just like cheese, low-fat dairy choices, give you about three types of fuel – namely protein, carbohydrates, and fat. You should decide to go with whole-wheat bread to enjoy long-lasting energy in case you still have some time before the competition begins.

Fruit smoothie with low-fat Greek yogurt: Fruits can be easily digested, and this is no new fact, as they provide individuals with immediate energy, and they hydrate too. Smoothies are very smooth and easy on the stomach, as they serve and hydrate as a secure means of transport for protein and carbs pre-competition.

Five snacks to avoid immediately before a tennis competition

Protein shake: if you can avoid large amounts of protein and protein powders before a game, as it helps to reduce the risks of having a digestive upset. To be in the clear, you could opt to keep the protein shakes for after the competition, as it aids effective and efficient muscle recovery, as this is paramount and key.

Caffeinated drinks: by all means, avoid sugary lattes before going for a match. Although certain quarters support a moderate amount of caffeine during pre-exercise, as this helps to improve on your performance, caffeine can be quite hard and dehydrating on the stomach.

Whole-wheat pasta: Whole-wheat pasta is considered as a fantastic meal before your competition 4 hours before or even a night before the match. The reason for this is not so farfetched, as your body requires slow-releasing carbohydrates that provide for long-lasting energy. Furthermore, immediately before you start a match, your body has to rely on quick power obtainable directly from easily digestible carbohydrates.

Nuts and seeds: Seeds and nuts are incredibly healthy sources of fat and fiber. However, before you kick start a competition, it is necessary that you place your primary focus on simple and not complex carbohydrates, as this helps to reduce quantities of fat and fiber to stop any incidence of digestive discomfort while exercising.

Salads: Leafy greens can serve as excellent complements to having your balanced post- or pre-competition meal. However, it is perfect for athletes who want to avoid greens immediately before a match since they are rich in fiber and cannot be easily tolerated.


A healthy breakfast on competition days is described as one that has complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, whole wheat, and even low-calorie fruits. These complex carbs would serve as a regular store of energy to help you glide through your matches later in the day. A little amount of protein in the form of egg-white or Greek yogurt milk is described as an excellent form of compliment to the meal, although protein would be needed more when you finish the match than before you play.

Players should try to run from fruits and high sugar breakfasts, as it can lead to a crash in energy levels in the course of their matches. This is further explained as the effect of having initial insulin release from the pancreas to try to maintain the normal levels expected for the blood sugar. It is highly recommended that breakfast also be eaten for about at least two hours before the match starts to reduce the risk of having intestinal cramps.

A lot of energy is generally spent during a game, so athletes must fuel their bodies by going for a healthy blend of nutrition within the space of about 2 hours. In the case of muscle recovery, for instance, it is recommended to go for a high amount of lean protein such as fish or chicken, as this is seen as a balanced meal plus some complicated vegetables and carbohydrates.

As it has been mentioned earlier, players should not wait until when they are thirsty before they drink water. Often, athletes do not feel thirsty when adrenaline is pumping through them, so this way it is necessary to take water within the space of 15 minutes continuously to add to the electrolytes and water lost through sweating.

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