A peek at the diets that Wimbledon players have to undergo has confirmed that a) we're glad we gave up tennis practice at the age of 15 to go and smoke behind the bike shed and b) we're armchair sportsmen and women who can watch the game at home, with a beer in hand.
A lot of the Wimbledon diets feature heavy amounts of fluids, and, as you may expect with an athletes - lots of protein and carbohydrates.
Here are some of the best pre-match foods for tennis players, taken from the Tennis Companion website:
- Dried apricots
- Pasta with a little butter
- 100% wholegrain bread
- Reduced fat fruit yogurt
- English muffins
- Whole wheat pita bread
- Granola bars
- Whole wheat crackers
Take a look at some of the diets for 2013's Wimbledon Championship, as well as diets other tennis players have undergone in the past.
Andy Murray, according to the Daily Mail, is a sushi fanatic, and is consuming around 6,000 calories a day. Sushi may not sound like the obvious way to get all those calories, but Murray doesn't get a teeny box from Itsu - he hoovers down 50 piece in one go. In addition to the high protein, high carbohydrate sushi, he also eats a large amount of pasta, red meat and rice, six times a day. He drinks six litres of water, and to get fit, he's been known to do Bikram yoga, weights and stretching. The fish in sushi is rich in omega-3 and the seaweed some sushi is wrapped in is rich in iodine.
Novak Djokovic is currently on a gluten-free diet after his nutritionist discovered he was allergic to gluten. He's found it hard to stick to the diet especially as dumplings and dessert feature prominently in Serbian culture, but said: “I eat mostly at home, my mom cooks special food." Since quitting gluten, his breathing and his game have subsequently got better. His diet is also very high in protein which he says "makes him skinny" but faster. Women's semi-finallist Sabine Lisicki has also gone gluten free.
Fernando Verdasco may be out, but he avoids junk food and greasy items for a diet of veggies, pasta, meat and chicken for adequate nutrition. “If you eat only lettuce, you won’t be able to hit a ball,” he says.
Sloane Stephens may have missed out on a place at the quarter finals, but her diet has consisted of...curry, specifically at the Rajdoot restaurant in Wimbledon. She said to journalists assembled: “You guys have got to go, I go there every night. It’s tasty. I really love it, it’s the only Indian that has everything." “They have coconut naan, poppadoms without seeds in them. It’s a plus. I’m committed to them. They like me.”
He may not be in the running for this year's competition, but Roger Federer has won 16 Grand Slams. So we still will pay attention to the Roger Federer Tennis Exercise and Diet Plan. It features top tips from his coach Pierre Paganini, as well as post-game recovery foods that are carbohydrate-laden to top up the body’s stores of muscle glycogen. He combines that with lean protein to help speed up the repair and growth of muscle tissue. Also - he's proof that sleep fixes almost all ills - he manages a whopping 10 hours of sleep which helps repair the body and boost the immune system.
Last year, Serena Williams won her fifth Wimbledon title on a raw food and vegan diet, after being plagued with health problems in 2011. A raw food vegan diet consists of unprocessed, raw plant foods that have not been cooked because heating food above 104 degrees kills the natural enzymes, possibly leaving behind toxins. While it means getting protein is a challenge, because no meat is allowed, there is a lot of allowance for carbohydrates.
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