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Tennis Nutrition Facts

Get the facts about carbohydrates, protein and fat, according to sports nutrition science.

Published December 01, 2010 12:00

Tennis Nutrition Facts
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There are so many sports diets, and many of their inventors are making big bucks by raising false hopes and making false claims. Any diet will cause weight loss in the short run, but most lead to cravings and pinging and eventual weight gain - and some may even be harmful to your body. It's hard to sort out fact from fiction. Are carbohydrates bad? Is fat the root of evil? Here's the real story, based on sports nutrition science.

Carbohydrates

Why do I need them?
• They are the body's main source of energy and help maintain blood sugar
• They are stored in the muscles to be used as energy between meals and snacks
• They are an important source of fiber, B vitamins, and iron
• They bulk up in the tummy and help us feel full
• It is the energy source for the brain

How much do I need?
• At least 2 servings of carbohydrates (grains) at each meal (3x/day)
• 1 serving of carbohydrates for a snack (2x/day)

What are some healthy sources of carbohydrates?
• Whole wheat grains: breads, pastas, brown rice, bagels, muffins
• Starchy vegetables: corn, peas, potatoes
• Legumes / beans: pinto, navy, black, black-eyed peas
• Pretzels, popcorn, wheat crackers

Protein

Why do I need it?
• Your body needs protein to build and repair muscles
• It is the building block of major organs and tissues
• Every enzyme in our body, many hormones, and our antibodies are all made of it
• It provides a feeling of fullness
• It Is an important source of iron, zinc and niacin

How much do I need?
• A 3-4oz. serving at meal time (2x/day)
• A 1- to 2-oz. serving at snack time (1-2x/day)

What are some healthy sources of protein?
• Lean beef, pork, poultry, venison, lamb, seafood and fish
• Tofu and veggie burgers
• Peanut butter and nuts
• Eggs, milk, yogurt, cottage cheese

Fat

Why do I need it?
• Fat is an important energy source and helps to maintain our immune system
• It helps manufacture hormones like estrogen and thyroid
• It is necessary for cell growth
• It helps us feel full and adds flavor and enjoyment to foods

How much do I need?
• A minimum of 1 teaspoon of vegetable fat per meal and snack
• Take your weight, cut It in half - that's how many fat grams to eat a day (120 lbs. = 60 gms)

What are some healthy sources of fat?
• Peanut butter and other nut butters
• Vegetable oils including olive, safflower, peanut, corn, canola
• Cheese, avocados, olives, legumes, nuts/seeds

Read the "Fat Facts" for more information!

Thanks to Page Love, MS, RD, LD
Sports Nutritionist, Nutrition Therapist Health Fitness Instructor, ACSM

Page Love

DISCLAIMER
The contents of the Game, Set, Health site, are for informational purposes only and should not be treated as medical, psychiatric, psychological, health care or health management advice.  The materials herein are not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this site. Reliance on any information provided herein is solely at your own risk.

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