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The Tennis Business Discussion Forum Archive

[tennisbiz] Re: Eating habits of tennis players

From: Joe Rill <>
Date: Sat 26 Jan 2002 08:58:48 EST

Hi Nirmala.
    The best diet for a growing teenager is a "balanced" Diet. If she is
active in sports she should eat 60% Carbohydrates, 20% Proteins, and 20% Fat.
 The Carbs provide the fuel for her competition and can be found in such
foods as baked potatoes, beans, bread, bananas, bagels, cereal, corn,
crackers, peas, rice and sports drinks. These are good sources of
carbohydrates but it takes about 4 hours to metabolize them. Avoid fats
before practice and matches. They delay digestion. You want to digest your
food before a match, not during it.

    Sugar is good and bad. When you eat it, it spikes your sugar level for a
while and then you get a let down within 30-60 minutes. This is disastrous
in competition. If you sustain your blood sugar it helps attentiveness and
focus. Starch turns to sugar in the body and can provide fuel for
competition if taken 4 hours before.

    Sports drinks are good sources of carbs and glucose. They allow them to
pass through your stomach easily and enter the blood stream fast. The best
sports drinks have 6-7% carbs--higher concentrations slow absorption. The
label should show the first ingredient as glucose, sucrose, or a glucose
polymer. If the first ingredient shown is fructose, don't use it for a
sports drink. Speaking of drinking, she should consume 100 ounces per day.
During competition, she should drink 4-10 oz each 15-20 minutes. After
exercise, drink 16 oz for each pound lost (Pint per pound).

    Breakfast is a key meal. Calcium and iron are very important for girls.
Calcium (low fat milk, cheese, yogurt) is important as a conductor for nerve
impulses to make muscles contract.

    Two good books that include sports diets are: "Successful Coaching,"
Rainer Martens, USTA Special Edition and "Coaching Tennis," Chuck Kriese,
Masters Press.

Joe Rill

Received on Mon Jan 28 2002 - 11:13:15 CST

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