Written by Contributing Editor Cathy Gehr (Health Researcher and Nutrition Adviser)
Passion for tennis is in your heart, and all your training is front of mind, but is your physical condition benefiting from these 4 top tips for a tennis diet plan menu? Nutritional discipline off the court is just as important as strategies and techniques on the court. Have you mastered both? Read on.
A tennis player’s requirements for agility, power, speed and endurance are relentless due to continual training sessions as well as tournaments. Be assured that Roger Federer’s breakfast plan is not grab and gulp, but is designed to provide top quality nutritional value. Striving to stay healthy comes through careful planning and daily attention to dietary details.
4 Top Tips for a Tennis Diet Plan Menu
Whether you choose to follow a gluten free tennis diet, a vegetarian tennis meal plan, or a well-rounded tennis diet that includes meat, incorporating carbohydrates, proteins, fruits, vegetables, vitamins and minerals is vital to each of these tennis meal plans.
1. Gluten Free
People with the inherited autoimmune disorder celiac disease have difficulty consuming gluten, a protein sourced from barley, rye and wheat. When Novak Dojkovic switched to a gluten free diet, it reinvigorated awareness in the importance of tailoring dietary needs to the individual. But although Dojkovic’s gluten-free gospel is good for him and those with celiac disease, nutritional experts caution that a gluten-free diet plan should be solely adopted by those suffering from gluten intolerance.
If gluten free is for you, confer with your nutritionist to map out delicious breakfast menus that include, for example, yogurt-based fruit smoothies, toasted rice cakes and wafers topped with bananas or peanut butter, milk, eggs, hash browns, corn bread, tapioca, and buckwheat pancakes.
An example of scrumptious lunches are ones using tuna, low-fat corn chips, corn tortillas with beans and cheese, rice or corn crackers with cottage cheese, hummus, pesto, nut-based spreads, carrot and celery sticks. A plethora of gluten free sites online offer tasty gluten free recipes.
Dig into non-gluten dinners made from chicken, potatoes, beets, fish, sweet potatoes, peas, corn, tomatoes, beans, rice, millet, accompanied by fruits and vegetables. Remember: marinated, batter-coated or breaded foods are a no-no.
Simple snacks such as dried fruit, cheese sticks, nuts and apples help to complete your gluten-free tennis diet plan menus.
A vegetarian tennis diet plan menu, in its broad interpretation, should zero in on daily consumption of a variety of foods such as legumes, lentils, whole grains, soy products, vegetables, fruits and nuts. If you are not a vegan, you may also include dairy, eggs, and honey.
A key for vegetarian tennis players is to eat somewhat consistently throughout the day. This means 3 wholesome meals interspersed by 2 to 3 snacks. These snacks should contain 2 food groups. For example: cottage cheese and sliced pineapple; wholegrain crackers topped with egg or cheese slices; peanuts and raisins.
Iron is a major mineral to a tennis player’s success because of its capacity to carry energy throughout the body. Insufficient iron in the diet can result in irritability, lack of concentration and fatigue. Due to vegetarians not consuming heme iron sources such as dark poultry, tuna, and lean red meat, consumption of non-heme iron sources such as tofu, molasses, lentils, legumes, fortified cereals, and baked potatoes including their skins is paramount for ample iron intake.
If you’re like Rafel Nadal and Maria Sharapova, enjoy a well-rounded tennis diet plan menu that includes meat and all forms of carbohydrates, dairy, proteins, fruits and vegetables. A balance of all elements from the food pyramid offer maximum mileage on the court plus muscle maintenance and repair.
Equally as important in this list of 4 Top Tips for a Tennis Diet Plan Menu include Hydration
All tennis dietary persuasions highlight the vital importance of hydration. There’s a ton of great information from Anthony Robbins on hydration and water, and the following quote sums it up in a nutshell:
“Two principles to immediately increase your energy, get stronger, and, if you want to, lose some weight.
The first principle is to super hydrate. Water is life; the planet itself is 70% water. Studies show that 60 to 70% of the population is dehydrated. If you want more energy, drink more water.
The second principle is to go green. 70% percent of your diet should be greens, i.e. water-rich, alive foods.” Tony Robbins
Sports nutrition is an on-going discovery, so in upcoming articles I will focus on more essential components to these 4 top tips for a tennis diet plan menu and it’s up to you to decide which on is right for you. Watch this space as we here at Tennis Daily News continue researching and compiling the most useful data available from reliable and reputable sources.