Pasta alternatives

Discussion in 'Health & Fitness' started by RogueFLIP, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    Usually my go to meal pre match is some pasta. 3-4 hours prior, 1/3 cup of pasta and a Clif bar, 1 hour prior a banana. Good for my usual 1.5-2.5 hour match. Give me plenty of gas in the tank, even if I get tired.

    I've done a lot of trial and error with other foods, and have found that pasta works best for me BUT....due to circumstances beyond my control, I had to play 6 days of singles in the last 8 days. Needless to say, I'm sick of pasta.

    My last day I got a few rolls of sushi, but felt like I ran out of gas towards the end. Tired and out of gas, not a good thing.

    Curious if people had alternatives to pasta, and what some of you eat pre-match.

    Here's what else I've tried:
    Rice (white & brown) - doesn't give me the same amount of fuel, and I'd have to eat more than I can tolerate to get the same effect as the pasta
    Whole wheat pasta - prob in my head, but I felt the WW I couldn't get the carbs into my system fast enough. But no more pasta :)
    Potatoes - gives me good fuel like pasta, but again, I can't eat enough to get the same amount of fuel like pasta.

    Not a fan of sweet potatos.
    Never tried bagels as usually most of my matches are at night.

    Thanks in advance for responses and alternatives.
     
    #1
  2. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW

    You're right, it's in your head. Given: 1) the duration of the match is only 2.5 hrs max, 2) your glycogen stores, 3) all of the alternatives you mention are perfectly fine sources of carbs, you probably aren't even using the majority of the calories you consume "for the match", during the match.
     
    #2
  3. Sumo

    Sumo Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2010
    Messages:
    613
    Location:
    Chapel Hill
    PBJ's are what I eat pre anything....tennis, rugby, soccer, exams.
    And some fruit at the bottom Greek yogurt after exercise, except rugby, then it's about 3 pitchers of beer.
     
    #3
  4. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    If I have a morning match, I don't/can't wake up 3-4 hours earlier to eat, just isn't going to happen. Earliest match time I do is 830am, so I'll wake up at 7am.

    I'll usually eat PBJ and a Clif bar/banana for morning matches....or oatmeal. Anything else is too heavy.
     
    #4
  5. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    I understand that its a good source of carbs, the problem is I know I run out of gas with those. That part isn't in my head. 1/3 cup of rice or 2 potatoes is the max I can eat with protein and veggies....it doesn't give me the fuel I need like the pasta does. So I'm looking for alternatives/ideas....

    Haven't tried quinoa yet...
     
    #5
  6. r2473

    r2473 Legend

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2006
    Messages:
    7,120
    Cheetos, Mountain Dew, and a Snickers Bar
     
    #6
  7. Sentinel

    Sentinel Bionic Poster

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    Messages:
    31,283
    Location:
    Far from suresh's "drying up pool of old farts"
    ^ The Taramuhara (sp?) Indians can run 100 miles just on some kind of alcohol -- read that about 30 years back, so must be true.
     
    #7
  8. makinao

    makinao Rookie

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Is that cooked or uncooked rice? 1/3 cup of uncooked rice is very very little. An average South East Asian manual laborer will eat 1-2 cups of rice for lunch (if he/she can afford it) together with some meat or fish. This would keep them going until supper. I would think a Western athlete would eat about the same amount.
     
    #8
  9. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    It's cooked rice.

    I mean, that's nice and all about the Asian, but in my old age, my appetite has decreased. I can't eat as much as I used to.

    There's no way I could eat 1 cup of rice during my normal daily routine prior to a match. I'd have to starve myself the whole day.
     
    #9
  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    What exactly do you mean?
     
    #10
  11. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    I feel like I burn through the rice quicker than I do the pasta. So towards the end of the match, I'm running towards empty on the gas tank.

    Potatos to a lesser extent.

    I don't get that feeling when I eat pasta. Even with long rallies at the end, I may get tired, but I feel like I still have fuel in the gas tank.

    I've already alluded that part of it is portion size, as I can't eat large portions of rice or potatoes pre match. 1/3-1/2 cup cooked rice or 2 medium potatoes is my limit.

    But after 5 days of eating pasta, I was pretty sick of it, so I was asking for alternatives.
     
    #11
  12. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    13,266
    Location:
    In the future
    TOFU. it is the greatest power giving food for tennis players.
     
    #12
  13. jaggy

    jaggy G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2006
    Messages:
    12,744
    Location:
    Carrboro, NC
    Kids these days, used to be about 10 pitchers when I were a lad
     
    #13
  14. charliefedererer

    charliefedererer Legend

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2009
    Messages:
    5,639
    Pasta alternatives

    Pizza.

    Sandwich - sub for more carbs.


    Did you start your day with a good breakfast?


    From the USTA:

    "Q. How much, what and when should I eat before a big match?

    A. Pre-match dietary choices should be higher in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein, and low in dietary fat to allow quick digestion and absorption out of the stomach. The more time you have before a match, the larger the meal that can be tolerated. For example, if you have 3 – 4 hours before you play, a normal sized sandwich like a turkey sub would be appropriate, even with a fruit and/or dairy side. No matter how much time you have before your match, try to pre-hydrate with several cups of fluids like water, sports drinks, or decaffeinated beverages. If you only have 1 – 2 hours before matches, the volume, protein, and fat content of the meal will need to be limited. An appropriate choice with this timing limitation might be 2 tbsp of peanut butter on a bagel or a PowerBar with a piece of fruit.

    Q. Your pre-match routine calls for complex carbohydrates with a little protein, which could be turkey or chicken. I understand an element in turkey tends to put you asleep and I have first experience that turkey slows me down during a match. Chicken is OK but why are you suggesting turkey before a match??

    A. Tryptophan is the amino acid often deemed to cause the “sleepy” side effect after consuming turkey. However, most turkey sandwiches are made with processed lean turkey products that are lower in tryptophan than the typical “whole turkey” you eat on Thanksgiving Day. The amount of tryptophan is a standard size turkey sandwich (3 ounce meat portion) should not impair your tennis performance. A well balanced meal that includes a turkey sandwich on whole grain bread, a low-fat dairy product and a piece of fruit should not cause any more drowsiness than a lean ham or chicken sandwich."
    - http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Health-Fitness/Diet-and-Nutrition/Pre_Match_Meals_and_Snacks/



    You may also be interested in:

    Nutrition: Post-match Nutrition http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Sport-Science/119902_Nutrition_Postmatch_Nutrition/

    Nutrition: Nutrition During Play http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Game/Sport-Science/119900_Nutrition_Nutrition_During_Play/

    Nutrition: Nutrients – What’s in the Food We Eat? http://www.usta.com/Improve-Your-Ga...utrition_Nutrients__Whats_in_the_Food_We_Eat/
     
    #14
  15. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    You do get that during exercise, blood flow gets shunted away from your GI system (to your musculature). The majority of your energy is coming from stored glycogen (from the carbs you had yesterday) not whatever you chose to eat the day of the match.

    Perhaps the "Empty" on your fuel gauge is a lack of carb loading the day before (or conditioning).
     
    #15
  16. PhxRacket

    PhxRacket Rookie

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2011
    Messages:
    258
    Location:
    The desert
    I never play without my Hammer products. Before-Hammer gel. During-HEED. After-Recoverite. Try it and you will never believe you drank the 'ades.
     
    #16
  17. NTexas

    NTexas New User

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2012
    Messages:
    76
    Im not trying to be a jerk, but you need to up your cardio, if you run out of gas after 1 1/2 hours. unless every point is 20 balls. so in my opinion its not the food you are eating before the match. but during the match you could eat a bananna or even a snickers bar.
     
    #17
  18. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    I know what it feels like running out of gas, and what it feels like not having enough cardio. This case is the former.

    I've been playing my friend weekly for the last 10+ years. It's always a close match, competitive, but nothing new; so I know what to expect.

    Same thing with my social doubles every week. Intensity is always the same.

    So I've be able to experiment with food/portions size etc to see what works during those situations. I just wanted some alternatives because 5 days of pasta was getting to me.

    But thanks for the Snickers bar suggestion, I will keep that in mind.
     
    #18
  19. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    CF,

    Thanks for the links.

    I'm like D'oh! I eat pizza for lunch days of my match. Why don't I just switch to pizza for dinner?!? And make a sandwich for lunch!

    :oops:
     
    #19
  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2006
    Messages:
    6,404
    Location:
    The Great NW
    Well, assuming that you are playing 2 out of three sets, you are probably playing less than 2 hours. Singles tennis burns about 654 calories per hour for a 180# individual. So about 1300 calories. But your glycogen stores can hold 2000 - 3000 calories depending on how much you work out (at 180#s).

    So strictly speaking you can eat nothing right before the match and you won't be "empty on the gas tank".

    My guess is the feeling you are noticing is not a lack of fuel. What is your conditioning like?
     
    #20
  21. Torres

    Torres Banned

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2011
    Messages:
    4,766
    Cous cous. Easy to eat cold and portable too.

    Get a flavored version for flavor if you want. Dice some cucumbers, tomatoes, raw mushrooms for flavors as well if you want.
     
    #21
  22. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,330
    Try steel cut oats or grape-nuts cereal. Ever try a Power bar?
     
    #22
  23. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    Ha, I did switch it up and eat oatmeal/banana and a Clif bar at 5pm for my 8pm match tonight. Was fine.

    Don't like the taste of grape nuts. Ditto with the Power bar.

    Thanks for the suggestions folks.
     
    #23
  24. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    Ok, yes, that's possible as an alternative, we've got that in the kitchen.

    Thanks for the suggestion.
     
    #24
  25. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2013
    Messages:
    797
    Thank you for the biology lesson. I've been playing long enough and had been experimenting with different foods and portions as I posted in my first post. It's the food, not my conditioning (which of course there's always room for improvement). Trust me, I know my body and what it's telling me.

    I was just looking for alternatives as I got sick of eating the same pasta for whatever time frame I had posted earlier....thanks in advance for any suggestions.
     
    #25
  26. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Messages:
    14,330
    Found that Grape-nuts can be prepared and served warm like oatmeal. Takes away that wild hickory nut-gravel texture. Powerbar is like a Bit O' Honey.
     
    #26

Share This Page