24 August 2018

Food for Champions

What do the pros eat to sustain themselves through a tournament? We check out some top advice from the experts at the USTA

No sooner will the US Open get under way next week, than a constant stream of players will start presenting with minor ailments according to the Mount Sinai medical team who look after the players. They will come with sprains and strains, niggling injuries and heat exhaustion and one problem all the players face is the very limited recovery time available. Generally, it is just a day between matches.  

The USTA, which organises the US Open, lists ten top recovery foods on its website. They might not add up to a full meal but all are worth a snack for their specific restorative benefits. They are:

  1. Tart or sour cherries for joint pain and sore muscles
  2. Coconut water to restore fluid and potassium
  3. Blueberries, anti-inflammatories which aid endurance and recovery
  4. Chia seeds with Omega 3 fats to reduce inflammation and improve flexibility
  5. Salmon providing vitamin D for power and strength
  6. Kefir, a cultured, fermented milk drink, to boost the immune system
  7. Beets to improve blood flow and delay fatigue
  8. Oranges for collagen formation and joint health
  9. Kale for improved vision and skin
  10. Ginger an anti-inflammatory for muscle soreness, joint pain and digestion.

For recovery meals, it suggests

  • Salmon, potatoes and veg
  • A burrito bowl of brown rice, chicken, beets, cheese, salsa, avocado and lettuce.
  • A stir fry of lean meat, broccoli, pepper, carrots and brown rice   

It also recommends eating breakfast, the most important meal of the day, within an hour of waking up and putting on the menu slow-burning foods like whole grains, eggs, fruit and dairy.  Greek yoghurt with granola and fruit would do nicely, as would toast with smashed avocado and a hard-boiled egg or cottage cheese and a fruit smoothie.