Every tennis player strives to become the best in a competition. However, there is always a winner and a loser. No one dreads to be a loser, but circumstances force them to it. A lot goes on behind the scenes in terms of preparations and daily practices. The brain game requires a high level of cognitive development and a physically-fit body. This doesn’t come from the blues. You need good nutrition.
What is good sports nutrition?
This is the study of the human diet about sports performance. It comes in handy during training. Besides, it supports high endurance and agility levels in a fierce match like ping pong- a physically intensive game.
Tips to have excellent tennis sports nutrition:
- Take fruits and vegetables daily
- Go for whole grains for healthy carbohydrates
- Maintains optimum hydration levels
- Take whole meals as you avoid entirely processed foods
- Take healthy fat- saturated fat as opposed to non-saturated fat
- Liaise with your sports nutritionist to enhance your energy body needs
If you will be eating in restaurants after a game, consider the following:
- Dietary protein
Naturally, protein helps in the repair of body tissues and muscles. Protein comes in handy to provide some level of energy though not as much as carbohydrates. Sports nutritionist advice ping pongers to consume a maximum of 1.7 grams of per kilogram of body weight; anything more than that is turned to fat which increases one’s body weight.
Secondly, too much protein isn’t healthy for the kidneys. It puts much pressure and strain that will make it unsustainable on the body. After a match, all the energy is lost to maintain body flexibility and agility levels. That means you need to replenish what is lost but not in excess.
The most recommended dietary proteins include:
- Plant proteins- beans, green grams, peas, and lentils
- Protein supplements
Milk is one adequate protein that aids in the quick recovery process. Although most people prefer to take energy drinks, what they don’t know is that milk comes in handy to maintain a balance between the carbohydrates and protein.
Why milk? Milk contains as an amino acid called casein which is responsible for quick absorption of essential nutrients which aids in the speedy recovery process. Also, the slow rate of digestion of the nutrient means that that calcium it contains takes centre stage at the right place to support healthy bones and teeth. It would be best if you had flexible bones. Now that it’s easy to have muscle pain in a competitive table tennis matches.
- Dietary fat
Although people look at fat as the primary source of weight gain; however, you need to stick to healthy fat which is got from:
- Vegetable oils
- Fish oils
You can only take this to help carbohydrates to replenish the lost energy. It replaces the low intake of carbohydrates – thanks to its fast absorption. Not only in competitions, even in foosball fun game with buddies, have you needed the right energy to manage the physical intensity the game requires.
Loss of body water depends on the prevailing climatic conditions. When playing in hot weather, you lose a lot of fluids hence becoming dehydrated. The first indicator for this is dark yellow urine. An average healthy person would drink at least eight glasses of water daily. Now that you are from a physically demanding game, you need to take more to replace the already lost fluids. Take water if you feel thirsty. This is one way your body communicates on the need to refill it with more fluids. Other drinks like beverages and energy drinks are also of help.
- Replace the missing electrolytes
Apart from fluids, there are also electrolytes which also get lost after the match. Electrolytes support proper coordination of the nerve endings. This is the time the energy drinks come in handy. Have you drank water and still feel you need more fluid. That means you are short of electrolytes.
Carbohydrates are the primary source of energy for any sports personnel. Carbohydrates are digested and turned to glucose and other glycogen which is responsible for strong muscles. – Where the glycogen is stored.
During the game, it changes it to energy. The more the glycogen means you have more power to sustain a violent game. When going for the game, you need an empty stomach such that you use the energy you have stored for the game.
After the game, you are sure all the energy is lost, and you need a refill. It’s the moment you are allowed to take sugary foods to increase energy intake as fast as possible. That is the role of sports drinks. However, it would help if you took it in moderation to avoid excess fat.
- High fiber
Weight is a limiting factor to a sportsperson. We have three types of fibre- soluble, resistant and insoluble fibre. Each has a specific function. The main aim of fibre for a table tennis player includes building muscle mass, which helps to reduce body fat. As long as you have healthy body weight, then you are sure you can maintain a high physically intensive game which requires high agility and flexibility of the body.
As a tennis player, what you consume determines your body energy requirement. There is no way you will expect to have high energy when you consume foods that have less energy and vice versa.
As you go for fine dining with friends after that challenging game, take care of what you eat or drink to make sure that you are in line with sports nutritionist advice.