Meal Plan for a Tennis Player - Training Day

Tennis is a game which requires peak physical fitness for a long game, as well tactics and concentration. Top level tennis players will train for many hours four or five days per week. In addition to this they will perform gentle weight training and cardiovascular exercise at a gym two or three times per week. Whether you wish to excel in tennis, or even if you just enjoy it at recreational level, playing can take a lot of time and energy, so a well structured nutrition programme will help you keep fit and full of energy for a long game. Good nutrition will also help lengthy concentration, in order to maximise your skill potential.

Here's a sample meal plan which an active tennis player could follow for a typical training day:

Large bowl of unsweetened muesli + 250ml skimmed milk
2 slices granary bread, toasted + olive oil based spread + natural crunchy peanut butter
250ml fresh fruit juice
30 minutes weights moderate intensity
40 mins CV mixing high, moderate and low intensity
Sip plenty of water throughout
Immediately post workout
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
45 minutes later
4-5 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
2 bananas
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet
100g mixed nuts, seeds & dried fruit
Mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
Tennis training
Sip plenty of water or isotonic drink throughout
Immediately post tennis training
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
45 mins later
4-5 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
100g mixed nuts, seeds & dried fruit
10-12 strawberries
Evening Meal
Lean fillet steak or chicken breast or fish + herbs to taste
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes or wholewheat pasta
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
1 hour pre-bed
100g cottage cheese / quark / low fat natural yoghurt
2-3 satsumas
Small handful mixed nuts & seeds

This plan is based around sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for long and intense training sessions. Oatcakes and granary bread will top up this slow released energy through the daytime. It also supplies adequate protein for muscle strength and repair. See our Glycaemic Index Tables for GI values of foods.

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients, however do bear in mind that the plan is merely a general guide, and there is no mention of portion sizes on purpose so that you can adapt it to suit yourself; remember men will generally require larger portions than women! You must eat a variety of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.