Keeping some snacks while playing tennis is very helpful for keeping your body’s energy up. Tennis snacks are food items that are usually eaten while playing the game. A player may also eat a snack in between sets or between games.
In addition, if a player needs to take a short break from play, they may eat a snack during the break.
With that being said, snacks are an essential component of being an athlete and have been found to have many benefits for athletes’ performance and health.
Generally speaking, snacks can help maintain hydration levels and provide energy for physical activity.
While some snacks are discouraged for various reasons (e.g., high-fat content), others have been found to be beneficial for athletes including carbohydrates, protein, and healthy fats.
Since playing tennis involves a lot of running and muscle coordination. Therefore, the player would need to regain the energy he lost.
So for that purpose, you should keep some tennis snacks inside your bag. As for me, I quickly feel hungry when I play tennis.
I need to boost my energy after some time therefore I also keep some snacks along with me on the court.
These tennis snacks keep you moving and energized to play better. So I would recommend you to have some snacks when you take a break while playing. This helps you get back to the game with a lot more energy and activeness.
Before I give you a list of the best tennis snacks, let’s first see why and when do you need to have snacks in a tennis match?
Why snacks are important for a tennis player?
Snacks for tennis players are important because it builds up their stamina. It also brings back the energy that they lost while playing tennis.
Moreover, a snack does not mean having large meals during the match. You can’t even have a lot of food when you are on the court.
Your stamina level goes down when hitting shots or even if you are doing tennis drills. It happens to me as well. A time comes when I don’t feel like running with the speed I ran at the start of the match.
This happens because your body needs energy in the form of food. But you can’t play with a full stomach. Therefore, having light snacks are the best way.
What to eat before and during a tennis match?
There are many options that are one bite snacks that you can eat before preparing for a tennis match or during the match.
The pre-snack you can take should contain minerals, vitamins, and simple carbohydrates.
The food you eat should not only contain proteins but a small number of carbohydrates as well.
When to eat a tennis snack?
Generally, you should take a snack after every 50 minutes when you are doing any physical activity.
Therefore, when you are playing tennis and if it continues for up to 3 hours. You should consider snacking after 45 minutes and then 1:30 and 2:15.
Important Nutrients Needed for a Tennis Player
To become a strong player you should consider having a proper diet plan that is full of nutrition (including protein, fats, car, and vitamins).
Some of the important nutrients needed for a tennis player are below.
Proteins are basically the building blocks of amino acids and are a great way of absorbing energy.
Therefore, the ideal food full of proteins such as beef, fish, and dairy products is a complete protein package.
Furthermore, beans, soy products, lentils, nuts, eggs, and whole-grain are full of amino acids.
The food you will take should contain less to no fat. Eating a high-fat meal just before the tournament is not a good idea.
Fats do not burn easily. Therefore, your body consumes more energy to digest than high-fat food.
So, having the right diet that contains more carbohydrates is beneficial. Carbohydrates fill up your body with the energy that you need. In this way, the player boosts up his energy and plays better.
Naturally Found In:
Some foods that contain fats are avocado, chia seeds, dark chocolate, eggs, fatty fish, flaxseeds, nuts, olives, olive oil, tofu, and yogurt.
3. Carbs or Carbohydrates
Like other nutrients, carbs or carbohydrates should be a part of your tennis food. Carbohydrates are very important to be a part of your tennis diet.
Carbs are the perfect source of energy when it comes to having the perfect meal plan for tournaments.
Naturally Found In:
Carbs are found in both types of food either healthy food or unhealthy. But you should focus only on healthy sources of carbs. The foods containing carbs are bread, beans, corn, potatoes, spaghetti, and cherry pie.
There are various forms of foods that contain carbs and are vital for boosting players’ energy.
4. Vitamins (A, B, C, D, E)
Every vitamin has its benefits for your body. They play their specific roles in the growth of your body.
Vitamin A helps make your muscle, teeth, bones, and skin healthy.
Furthermore, vitamin B is good for DNA synthesis, and proper nerve functioning. Vitamin C is also called ascorbic acid.
It resists infections and improves teeth, gums, and recovers wounds. The most important Vitamin is vitamin D that helps you to absorb calcium.
Most importantly, it helps your bones to become stronger. Apart from getting vitamin D from food, you can get it straight from the sunlight.
Vitamin E is helpful to protect your cells from damage. Additionally, it is also important for repairing muscle cells.
Naturally Found In:
All of the vitamins are naturally found in various foods such as bell peppers, spinach, almonds, asparagus, seafood, milk, eggs, citrus fruits, broccoli, green vegetables, papaya, meat, poultry, and fish.
Moreover, you can get vitamin A from the foods such as carrots, sweet potatoes, winter squash, apricots, etc.
Best Tennis Snacks
There are some of the snacks that tennis players can have. Here is the list of snack ideas for tennis players.
- Rice cakes
- Protein bars
- Dry cereals
- Granola bars
Bananas are rich in various vitamins and minerals. It can be your best snack being a tennis player. It provides energy. This is the reason that the most beautiful Maria Sharapova is seen eating bananas on the tennis court many times.
Bananas Nutrition Facts
Bananas are full of vitamins and minerals such as potassium vitamin B6 and vitamin C. Bananas are enriched with potassium. In addition, it improves heart health as well.
Apples are complete nutrients. These are also important for a player’s good health. You can add this as your pre-snack in your tennis bag.
“An apple a day keeps the doctor away”
And this quote is true!
Apple Nutrition Facts
The nutritions apple provides a balanced amount of 0.2 grams of fat, carbs, 10.4 grams of sugar, protein, 86% water, and 52 calories.
3. Rice Cakes
Rice cakes are considered an easy snack. Rice cakes are light and a good snack. This is a good tennis snack for you.
Rice Cakes Nutrition Facts
Rice cakes contain 35 calories, 7.3 grams of carbohydrates, 0.7 grams of proteins, 0.4 grams of fiber, phosphorus, magnesium, and manganese.
4. Protein Bars
Protein bars are a perfect diet full of carbs, proteins, minerals, and vitamins. These are good snacks to have between the match.
Protein Bars Nutrition Facts
The protein bars are perfect for repairing muscles after a workout or physical activities.
It contains 5-10 grams of fat, 25-35 grams of carbs, and 5-10 grams of fiber. Additionally, these proteins bars add other micronutrients, such as calcium, vitamin B, and calcium.
5. Dry Cereals
Having cereals in your diet adds less fat and more fiber. Since having a lot of fat-containing food is not beneficial. Therefore dry cereals are a perfect meal.
Dry Cereals Nutrition Facts
Dry cereals are full of nutrition such as 3% of total fat, 2% saturated fat, 0% cholesterol, 6% sodium, 5% potassium, 7% total carbohydrates, and 1.2 grams of sugar.
Sandwich is everyone’s favorite snack and you know the best part about sandwiches? It is optional what you want to add to your sandwich.
However, being a tennis player you should add healthy food items to make it a perfect snack to take along on court.
Sandwich Nutrition Facts
It mainly depends on the food or vegetables you have used in your sandwich. However, generally, a healthy sandwich contains 3% fat, 0% cholesterol, 12% sodium, 3% potassium, 9% carbs, and 9% fibers.
Oatmeal is one of my favorite snacks because it has proved to be very beneficial. It lowers the chances of high sugar levels, helps you to manage and maintain your body weight, and has many other benefits.
Oatmeal Nutrition Facts
Oatmeal is well-balanced while providing some benefits for you such as 95 calories, 5 grams of protein, 3 grams of fat, 27 grams of carbs, 4 grams fiber, and 1 gram of sugar.
Bagel is good at preventing diseases and helps digest food easily. In that regard, a bagel is a good snack for tennis players.
Bagel Nutrition Facts
A bagel contains 9 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 55 grams of carbs, 2 grams of fibers, 7 grams of sugar, 71 milligrams of calcium, iron, and 82 milligrams of potassium.
Yogurt is enriched with some main nutrients however, it is high in protein and benefits heart health. It also aims to better the immune system and protect against osteoporosis.
Yogurt Nutrition Facts
The yogurt contains calories, water, proteins, and carbs. All of which play an important role to provide enough energy to the player. It also helps to improve the immune system and digests easily.
10. Granola Bars
Granola bars are made with nuts, seeds, and dried fruits. This is also beneficial for controlling weight and also promotes good health of heart, and blood sugar level.
Granola Bars Nutrition Facts
Each granola bar contains 117 calories, 4.6g fat, 0% cholesterol, 70mg sodium, 66mg potassium, and total 7% carbs. There you have it – a perfect snack during the tournament.
It is enriched with nutrients and energy that you need to gain while playing the match. Furthermore, it is made with wheat flour. It is a handheld bread snack to have!
Pretzels Nutrition Facts
Pretzels provide 389 calories, 3.6g fat, 9.4g of proteins, and 79.8g of carbs. In addition, pretzels also provide vitamin B.
What to eat before a tennis match?
Eating before a tennis match is important because you need enough energy and stamina to play tennis.
Therefore, you should not go for heavy meals, rather you can choose something that is light and full of energy.
It is necessary to have a balanced diet during the tournament. Eat something that is light on the stomach and easy to digest. Some of the tennis food ideas are here to eat before a tennis match.
- Oatmeal with Fruit: Oatmeal with fruit is an ideal meal for a tennis player to eat before the match. It provides an excess amount of energy to your body and keeps you working. Moreover, the addition of fruit to the oatmeal is a plus!
- Peanut Butter, Jelly, or Banana Sandwich: It is a light but very healthy snack to have before the match. A sandwich provides your body with a lot of energy and stamina since it contains carbs.
- Low-fat Yogurt with Fruit or Cereal: The low-fat yogurt boosts your energy. Since yogurt contains a burst of proteins and carbs to your body, therefore, it is a good snack for you. Furthermore, you can add fruit or cereal to it. However, it is optional.
- Toast with Low-fat Cheese: If you feel down and want to boost up your body energy then it is a good option. Use whole-wheat bread with a low-fat piece of cheese. As you know, cheese is full of all three main nutrients such as proteins, carbs, and fat. Therefore it will keep you energetic for a long time.
- Fruit Smoothie with Low-fat yogurt: Smoothies are so wholesome and are light on the stomach. Having a smoothie is a complete diet for players. In addition, if you add fruits to your smoothie, it becomes hydrating as well. The juice inside the fruits keeps you hydrated and energized.
What to eat during a tennis match?
When you are playing tennis your body gradually starts losing its energy and stamina. To build up that energy level again you should eat during the match.
The following options might help you get the right food idea to eat during the play.
- Lots of Carbs
- Energy Bars
- Energy Gels
- Tomato Juice
- Energy Beans
- Chocolate Milk
What to eat after tennis match? Recovery Snacks
Post-match meals are very important for you. As you know that tennis is a complete workout for your body and it involves your muscle coordination. Not only this but hitting fast-moving tennis balls with a perfect tennis racquet requires a lot of energy which is consumed during the match.
When you finish up tennis your muscle tissues need repairment to come back to their natural form. This also causes pain to the players if left unchecked.
Therefore, you should be very specific about your post-meal or recovery snacks as a tennis player. Some of the tennis food options are chicken, fish, whole-wheat pasta, brown rice, and some vegetables.
These snacks can help you recover the lost energy and stamina. Furthermore, these food items are full of proteins that your muscle badly need after the match.
Tennis Snacks By Categories
For your convenience, I have categorized the tennis snacks into the categories below.
- Avocado Slices
- Berries (Blueberries, Strawberries, Raspberries)
- Fruit Juices
- Energy Drinks (with less sugar)
- Sparkling or Simple Water
- Coconut Water
- Turkey Jerky Sticks
- Grass-fed Beef Sticks
- Cereal Bars
- Protein Bars
- Granola Bars
- Fig Bars
- Greek Yogurt
- Milk or Chocolate Milk
- Boiled Eggs
Whole Grain Foods
- Rice Cakes
- Peanut Butter with bread
- Whole Grain Crackers
- Sweet Potato
- Cherry Tomatoes
Nuts & Seeds
- Sunflower Seeds
Nutrition Tips for Tennis Players
Taking proper nutrition is as important as having meals before, after, and during the match. However, you should keep your balanced diet.
This means that you must take a balanced meal. It is necessary to know what nutrients you should take when you play tennis.
Consider taking whole grains, proteins, fruits, vegetables, good fats, and healthy snacks as mentioned above.
So, here are some of the tennis nutrition tips for you.
- Water, water, water! Keep your body hydrated before, during, and after the match. This helps to avoid any cramps or muscles fatigues. You should drink 8-10 glasses of water daily. You can keep a bottle of water all the time with you or in your tennis bag.
- Don’t eat foods that are high in fat or fiber just before the match. Because foods with high fat and fiber are slow to digest and may disturb you during the game.
- If you are going to play serious competition matches, don’t eat something new. Keep sticking to your diet plan.
- Eat energy food or drinks just within 30 minutes after you finish your match or drills.
- Keeping your stomach full with a lot of food is not the target, eat something that is light and full of nutrition.
Top 3 Tennis Players and Their Diet
The top professional tennis players are also very specific about their diet when it comes to playing tennis. They also take proper diet to assure a healthy body.
It is important to look after your body’s needs and health. You can provide your body with the diet it demands.
Just like the top players, you should consider taking the diet that suits you make you perfect for playing tennis.
1. Rafael Nadal
The top player Rafael Nadal’s diet includes seafood such as steamed fish, shrimp dumplings. Moreover, he also prefers having olives that provide him with some good health benefits.
2. Novak Djokovic
Novak likes to get himself some organic food in his diet plan. He relies on vegetables, white meat, fruits, nuts, fish, chickpeas, lentils, and healthy oils. Moreover, he likes to have fresh vegetables and on time.
3. Simona Halep
Simona herself does not prefer having any strict diet. She takes three meals a day. Apart from training, she loves to add lots of sushi to her diet. In addition, she loves eating pizza therefore she never compromises on having pizza right after her matches.
Being a tennis player, you should not skip your meals. Your diet must be healthy and on time. Your tennis diet should always come first to make yourself strong enough to keep running and playing. Your body needs food to work.
So, I have covered the best tennis snacks in this article so you can complete your diet list with healthy items. I hope the above-mentioned snacks are going to help you in the longer run. If you have any questions, don’t forget to share them in the comments section below.
1. What snacks do tennis players eat?
Eating tennis snacks is up to the choice of the player. Different tennis players have different diet plans. However, a perfect tennis snack contains enough protein, less fat, healthy carbs, and other minerals and vitamins.
2. What are good tennis snacks?
Some of the perfect tennis snacks are:
- Rice Cakes
- Protein Bars
3. What do professional tennis players eat before a match?
Each player has different eating habits and plans. Generally, they eat cereals, bread, pasta, fruits, and vegetables as their pre-game snacks to keep their energy level up.
4. What do tennis players drink?
Most of the time, tennis players drink water to keep their bodies hydrated. They also consume some energy or sports drinks during the match.
5. Why do tennis players eat bananas?
A banana is full of energy and nutrition. It’s a good source of healthy carbs and potassium which keeps their energy high. This helps to avoid possible cramps on the court. In short, the banana is fuel for tennis players.
Hey, it’s 32 years old Robert Dexter here, a huge fan of Roger Federer. I love tennis since the age of 12. I write about tennis whenever possible. I have keen interest in equipment and the technicalities of tennis. Other than tennis, I love to post new stories on Instagram, read books and cooking.