It is well known that competitive tennis is normally played in warmer months with higher temperatures. Therefore, it is crucial for players to be well hydrated before the match in order to sustain long points, games and sets.
What to eat before match:
- Snacks high in carbohydrates, moderate in protein and low in fat
- Food needs to be quickly digested
- Meals needs to be small and consumed at least 2-3 hours before the match if possible
- Ideal meals would be complex carbohydrates, such as brown rice, barley, millet.
- Energy snacks, nuts and fruits can be consumed up to one hour before the match
What to eat after match:
- Hydrate first, especially if match is played under sun and in high temperatures
- Consume one or two servings of protein in order to rebuild and recover your muscles
- Make sure to stack up on vegetables
- Try to avoid sugary, simple carbohydrates and consume fruits instead
In overall, tennis players should consume balanced diet that includes all main food groups. Recently there has been much press on gluten free diet, particularly after Novak Djokovic adopted it in 2010. It is important to note that each person needs to be tested if they are really gluten intolerant before adopting the diet, or that diet can result in insufficient nutrients.