When it comes to food and nutrition, there is no right or wrong. You have eaten thousands of meals whilst living on this planet, and you’re still here right?! The same goes with sports nutrition, you have survived this long so why should you listen to me?!
I’m not a sports nutritionist that is going to overhaul your diet, tell you exactly what to eat and when to eat it. I am here to help you understand what you currently eat, whether your tennis performance is optimal with that diet, and if not, how we can tweak your diet so that it fits in line with the current scientific research for tennis players.
Today let’s talk about supplements. Supplements are called supplements, because they are a SUPPLEMENT to your diet. Most of you will be able to get all the nutrition you need to fuel your body and tennis performance through a good diet, good hydration and enough sleep.
With that being said, there are certain circumstances when supplements may be useful, and I will list them below and the reasons why (if there are any supplements not on this list, it would be wise to consider whether you’re wasting your money) …
Multivitamins – A multivitamin will not necessarily directly enhance tennis performance, but vitamins and minerals are essential nutrients for overall health, growth repair and vitality. If you are partaking in a heavy training schedule, or simply lack fruit and vegetables in your diet, supplementing with a mutlivitamin is advised.
Protein powder – Protein is essential for growth and repair of muscles, which is essential for optimal tennis performance. For tennis players who require relatively high protein intakes and travel a lot, or struggle to eat enough protein, supplementing with a protein powder would be beneficial.
Sports Drinks – Staying optimally hydrated with a good balance of electrolytes (salts) is essential for health, tennis performance and recovery. If a tennis player doesn’t enjoy the taste of water during or after exercise, this is when a sports drink would be useful to ensure optimal performance and recovery.
Caffeine – Caffeine essentially blocks receptors in the brain telling you you’re tired. Caffeine will allow you to perform at a higher intensity for a longer period of time, therefore maximising performance (as long as it is consumed in the right amount at the right time, personal to you).
There are a few other supplements that have been well researched to have beneficial effects on sports performance, but for the purpose of this blog (unless you are an elite athlete), these are the only supplements you will need for overall health and tennis performance. If you have any questions, or more importantly are taking any other supplements not on this list, please don’t hesitate to get in touch!
Yours in Health,
Former Totally Tennis performance player and now coach Steph Catlin has founded Food Is Life, a sports nutrition consultancy business based in Basingstoke. If you would like to learn more about how to achieve your personal nutrition goals and for specific personal advice please contact Steph directly via firstname.lastname@example.org via her website www.foodislifeuk.com or visit her social media channels Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
Read more nutrition advice in previous posts Is Nutrition The Missing Puzzle Piece to Your Ultimate Tennis Performance?, Do You Suffer With Performance Dips During a Tennis Match, Protein Isn’t Just For Body Builders and Competition Nutrition – What, When and How Much?