best pre-match diet?

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by sruckauf, Jun 13, 2007.

  1. sruckauf

    sruckauf Professional

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    I've heard a number of things that are good to consume an hour or so before a match. Such as, protein shake, carbo drinks, electrolite drinks, banana, etc. I'd be very interested to hear what people do specifically as a routine before a match. Either that morning, or right before you play.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    First off, you shouldn't eat anything significant within an hour of playing.

    I rarely pay attention to the food I eat the day before I am going to play, but I do think about it. Meals high in complex carbs are good, but I am not so sure that matters so much the day before? Either way, for tennis players (most athletes, I would imagine), carbs are what it's all about. Carbohydrates are the fuel for our muscles. Without them, you're not going to be able to do much.

    I eat something 2 hours before I play. Pasta's are always good, bagels, wheat bread, peanut butter, and things like that are great. I play tennis so often I don't pay much attention to it, I just have a significant meal a couple of hours before I play. I never eat meat or anything that is hard to digest the day I am going to play. You have to figure out what works for yourself. If you can eat an hour before playing and be fine, go for it. If you feel sick if you eat within 3 hours of playing, you've got to make the adjustment.

    Someone I play with goes to McDonalds and eats a few minutes before hitting the court. He is usually complaining about it for the first hour or so of play. I am pretty sure it is never a good idea to eat right before play.

    30 minutes before I play, if I am hungry, I have a banana (best choice), a few crackers or something else very light. At this time I drink of Gatorade (that I make myself). I don't measure the amount, just take a couple big drinks. Make sure you've kept yourself hydrated the whole day leading up to your play, or the night before. Pay attention to your salt (sodium) intake during the day.

    Then I get to the court and every chance I get I drink water. I also have more of my Gatorade mix that I drink while I play. Drink when you're not thirsty. That is the best tip I've ever heard. I usually eat an energy bar or crackers or something while I am playing. Sometimes I do it because of boredom while playing doubles, sometimes I just get hungry. Bananas are good to eat during play because they digest faster than most other foods and they contain all kinds of good stuff for people running around. Again, you've got to figure out what works for yourself.

    After I play I eat a meal with carbs and protein... Chocolate milk is supposedly a great recovery food because of the ratio of carbs to protein (3:1). I like Honey Bunches of Oats cereal and usually eat a ton of that as soon as I get home, that stuff is delicious. If I've played far away from my house, I eat some tasty energy (protein) bars that are in my bag. They are pretty much just candy, but I am addicted to the Snickers Marathon bars.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2007
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  3. Bodacious DVT

    Bodacious DVT Semi-Pro

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    try a bagel with peanut butter, a banana, yogurt, fruit smoothie, water, or crackers and cheese.

    DO NOT DRINK ENERGY DRINKS
     
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  4. nanni

    nanni New User

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    bananas for me!

    i usually play in the mornings at about 9.
    wake up and have hot coffee which helps me in my visit to the loo!:p
    then,i eat a banana and drink a couple of tall glasses of water.
    on court i drink water and eat bananas if i feel hungry.
    sometimes i replace bananas with granola bars,but prefer bananas.
    after playing i drink a tall glass of cold chocolate milk without sugar.
    another hour later i sit down for a brunch with carbs and proteins.eat well,but not overeat.
    i drink a lot of water all day.
    works for me!
     
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  5. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    Where did you find chocolate milk without sugar? :rolleyes:
     
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  6. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    It sort of depends on what your goal is. Many want to have a high blood glucose level, others don't (to avoid an insulin rush), some feel better with something taking up space in their GI tract, others prefer a "lighter" feeling. There is no magic formula that satisfies everyone.

    What is your goal?
     
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  7. sruckauf

    sruckauf Professional

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    BottleRocket,
    Thanks much for the reply. I too keep the powdered Gatorade on hand but mix it weak, for game days. And I'm a big fan of the banana and bagel. Again, thanks.

    LuckyR,
    Thanks for the reply. My biggest goal these days, is endurance and keeping enerygy up during longer matches. I was thinking my pre-match diet had more to do with this, but maybe not? I don't think too much about these things.. but I think I should. Outside of tennis, I'm very active. I run, backpack, lift, etc. So by the time I get to match day, I'm often good for a couple sets, then find myself starting to poop out if the match goes a hard third set. I'm thinking I should cut back on my other activities a bit.

    To everyone: Short of cutting back on other athletic things, I'm wondering if there are better choices out there for during-play supplements. I usually limit myself to Gatorade and/or water. I also snack on a Clif Bar on changeovers on occasion. A buddy of mine praises the Cytomax - Sport Energy Drink as a Gatorade alternative. I'm thinking of trying this. While I'm just a 4.0, he's a solid 5.0 player and swears it's a superior fluid replenisher.

    I realize there is no panacea for this - just looking for suggestions on what other people do for pre-match and during-match snacks and/or fluid replenishers. Thanks again!!
     
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  8. Thomas Bird-Itch

    Thomas Bird-Itch Semi-Pro

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    Pasta is tried and true; the night before and 3-4 hours before your match. Keep the fats (oils, butter, fatty meats, etc) low and don't eat foods you aren't accustomed to. I try to avoid high sugar foods (pancakes, cookies, sweets, etc) in place of complex carbs b/c I will crash if I have a 2+ hour match. The key is timing and knowing what works for your body. Lighter foods like granola bars, bananas, and salty snacks work well for me before and during matches.

    I am also a coffee drinker and I love to get wired up before my matches. Unfortunately it wears off and I end up losing concentration after 60-90 minutes. Longer matches are about determination anyway, so it doesn't bother me too much as long as I eat right and drink plenty of water.

    After your matches load up on proteins and enough carbs to help you recover. My favorite is a milkshake plus any healthy meal.
     
    Last edited: Jun 14, 2007
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  9. sruckauf

    sruckauf Professional

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    Great, thanks Thomas.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    Now you're talking. Clearly the key to your stamina (from a dietary point of view, working out is a different story and perhaps more important) is loading up your liver glycogen stores. Pasta as mentioned is a fine (but not necessarily superior) way of doing that. If you had a hard workout the day before, a single meal might not quite top it off though, so I would really pound the starch the night before, if you did work out.

    Many find that dehydration, especially in the summer can mimic the loss of glycogen so keep hydrated. Weak Gatorade before the match (20 oz or so) and during if it is an especially long or hot day, is the cheapest way of doing so. Other drinks will work but many are more $ than plain ol' Gatorade.

    Personally I don't like the feeling of solid food in my gut during a match. There is no way you are going to use those calories much anyway if they are consumed during the match.
     
    Last edited: Jun 15, 2007
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  11. sruckauf

    sruckauf Professional

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    LuckyR,
    Very interesting. Thanks for the thoughtful feedback. Food for thought for sure. (pardon the pun.. ha ha)

    I am going to try the Cytomax product for pre- and during-match play. It has a fairly rich carbohydrate content, which is something the Gatorade isn't giving me. I'll post my review of how it works in my case. Thanks again!
     
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  12. nanni

    nanni New User

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    choc milk without sugar

    bottle rocket:i just add hershey's choc syrup to cold milk and stir.
    i found that most of the choc milk in stores contain sugar,so i thought that home made is a good option.
     
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  13. Bottle Rocket

    Bottle Rocket Hall of Fame

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    What do you think is in "hershey's choc syrup"?

    It is liquid sugar? :rolleyes:
     
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  14. nanni

    nanni New User

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    i dont add sugar and i have been thinking that hersheys chocalte syrup does not contain sugar!!i better check that up..but anyways,it tastes good and feels good to have it after i play!:D
     
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  15. zcj41

    zcj41 New User

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    Heh, most definitely it has sugar. Quite a bit actually.
     
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