As a tennis player you always want to feel your strongest on match day.
It’s when the stakes are the highest and how you fuel yourself before, during and after each match directly affects your performance and recovery.
In the first two blogs of this series, How to Eat Like a Tennis Champion and The Myth of Carb Loading you learned how to fuel yourself each day to maximize your results and performance, as well as, to always avoid the outdated concept of carb loading.
It’s now time to take your game to the next level and dial in your food by optimizing your pre, post and during match meals and fuel.
The ultimate goal for your pre, post and during competition foods is simple; provide your body with the necessary nutrients to maximize your athletic ability on the court.
The right fuel helps you rise to the occasion when the match is on the line and also greatly assists you in recovering fast, so you’re ready for your next match.
The eating foundation is the exact same as you’ve learned in the How to Eat Like a Tennis Champion article, you’ll be eating PFC Every 3, and your meal examples will be centered on super clean foods to optimize digestion and nutrient absorption.
Here’s a quick reminder of the PFC Every 3 plate visual and recommended portions sizes per meal, use this visual and portions sizes for your Pre and Post match meals:
The cool thing is that there isn’t a huge difference in your pre and post meals compared to your daily meal recommendations.
The word you want to focus on is Quality for your pre and post meals.
Focus on eating proteins, fats and carbs that are clean, unprocessed and digest well in your body.
Now every tennis player digests particular foods differently and has different taste buds, so use these recommendations as a starting point and then experiment with the foods and meals that seem to work best for you before and after your match.
You’ll want to choose proteins, fats and carbs that provide great energy for you before each competition and foods that help you recover quickly afterwards.
Here are your 3 Pre-Match Eating Guidelines:
1) Guideline 1 - Eat approximately 120 minutes (2 hours) before your match so you have proper time to digest your food. Focus on being satisfied after your meal to ensure balanced blood sugar levels. Make sure to drink 2-4 cups of water (8 oz in each cup) approximately 90 minutes (11?2 hours) before your match.
2) Guideline 2 – Choose from this list of the highest quality proteins, carbs and fats that your body digests well and leaves you feeling light and fast. And follow the portion size recommendations above.
Avoid protein shakes, bars and meal replacements as your pre-match meal; whole food will provide greater energy to prepare you for your competition. You’ll definitely be using protein shakes, bars and meal replacements as your during match fuel and we cover that info in article 5 of this series.
3) Guideline 3 – If you’re competing in a tournament or are on the road and cannot bring your pre-match meal, make sure to apply these same eating concepts when eating in a restaurant.
Here are four meal examples of what a great Pre-Match Meal looks like for both female and male athletes (simply adjust to your portion sizes):
Image 1 - Egg Whites (protein), Avocado (fat), Gluten Free Bread (carb), Tomatoes & Cucumber (carb)
Image 2 - Veggie Omelet (protein & fat), Fruit & Oatmeal (carb)
Image 3 - Turkey (protein), Avocado (fat), Gluten Free Wrap (carb) & Fruit (carb
Image 4 - Chicken (protein), Olive Oil (fat & mixed in dish), Brown Rice & Veggies (carb)
I can’t wait for your friends to see the difference in your game when you start fueling like a pro before your match. You’ll be stronger, faster and the player you’re meant to be!
Now let’s dive into the part four of this series, Maximizing Your Recovery After Your Match (coming June 30th).
And the next time a friend tells you to carb load, you can educate them on the real facts!
Most important, Mark Macdonald is a husband to his wife Abbi and father to their 12-year-old son Hunter and 2-year-old baby girl, Hope.
Professionally, he’s a world renowned nutrition & fitness expert, best-selling author, television personality, international teacher and speaker, and entrepreneur who has coached everyone from celebrities to athletes to business executives to busy moms on how to permanently get their body back with cutting edge nutrition, fitness and lifestyle strategies.
He is the founder of Venice Nutrition and the IBNFC: International Board of Nutrition and Fitness Coaching, author of the New York Times Bestselling books Body Confidence and Why Kids Make You Fat and How to Get Your Body Back, as well as a featured health expert for many national media outlets, a few being: Dr. OZ, CNN, HLN, Access Hollywood, NBC, FOX and Chelsea Lately.
Mark is also a sought after keynote health speaker and continually speaks throughout the world.
- For Adults - Our 8 Week Plan - it's a powerful plan that has helped a couple million people rock their health, it's a global plan and featured in my why kids make you fat and how to get your body back book. Here is the website - www.8WeekRun.com
- For kids, we have a powerful Kid Athlete program that supports the info in the 5 Part series and connects perfectly with the 8 Week Plan so tennis families can rock it together - all the info about that is on www.HowToFeedYourKidAthlete.com