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Match-Day Nutrition Is Critical

Nutrition

Diet

Fueling your body for battle involves much more than throwing down a ripe banana 20 minutes before match time. Like the keys to successful hydration, appropriate food intake for matches begins well before you step on court and does not end when the final ball is struck in anger. Take note of our simple but important guidelines to make sure you have all the energy you need next time you step on court.

Pre-Match Eating and Hydration Guidelines
Select pre-match meals and snacks that are:
• Familiar and known to settle hunger
• High in carbohydrates to supply energy for muscle reserves, moderate in protein and low in fat
• Quickly digested (not too high in fibre or fat)

Meal Guidelines
LUNCH (3-4 hours prior to competition)
• Turkey or grilled chicken sandwich with mustard
• Saltine crackers
• Apple
•1 cup of skim milk
• 8 oz. serving of Gatorade

Compeed

Pre-Game Snack (1-2 hours prior to competition)
• Fruit yogurt or banana
• 1 cup of water
• 1 Gatorade energy bar
• 20 oz Gatorade thirst quencher

Post-Match Meal:
• Eat a high-carbohydrate meal that also contains a lean protein source within two hours after play to maximize muscle glycogen recovery (rebuild energy stores) and to support protein synthesis in muscle.
• During tournament play, be sure to include carbohydrates, protein, fluid and sodium in the evening meal to quicken recovery from play. Consider lightly salting foods and consuming foods and beverages that are natural sodium sources.
• Avoid high-protein and high-fat foods as these will contribute to dehydration.

Example of Post-Match Meal
• 2-3 cups pasta with marinara sauce (light in meat and fat content)
• 2-3 slices of garlic bread (light on margarine)
• Salad with vinaigrette or low fat dressing
• 2-3 cups of Gatorade or low fat milk or energy drink

OR

• 2-3 cups of Chinese-steamed rice with vegetables and chicken stir-fry
• 2-3 cups of Gatorade or low fat milk or energy drink

- Page Love is a registered and licensed dietician who is a certified specialist in sport dietetics. She also is a consultant to the ATP World Tour and WTA. For more of Page's tips on nutrition, visit nutri for sport therapy .

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