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What foods are pro tennis players allowed to eat?

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what should tennis players eat
The diet of a pro tennis player. Photo/Tennis Alberta
  • One of the nutrition regimens a tennis player will always observe religiously is one that is balanced
  • The food they consume before playing have an impact on their energy and stamina levels
  • Additionally eating shores up energy reserves and builds muscles

Looking at Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Iga Swiatek and many other tennis players, you will always wonder what should tennis players eat.

One of the nutrition regimens a tennis player will always observe religiously is one that is balanced because it means better performance. Quite simply, the food they consume before playing has an impact on their energy and stamina levels. Food means their bodies repair easily after exercise and gives them the required energy.

Additionally eating shores up the energy reserves and builds muscles. But what should tennis players eat? What is their diet plan like? We tell you all this and much more.


Pro tennis players consume nutritionally balanced diets to meet their demanding physical and mental needs. A rule by the book about the food they eat means that it should provide them with enough energy and proper immunity. It must aid in boosting their performance besides providing energy, and aid in recovery.

Tennis diet

Novak Djokovic eating a banana. Photo/

Although each player has different nutritional requirements and preferences, there are certain fundamental rules that are frequently followed. Tennis players first focus on a balanced diet with each serving having proteins, vegetables, carbohydrates, fats, fruits and grains. Lean meat, fish, poultry and dairy products make up for proteins.

Plant-based proteins like beans and tofu are also great for a balanced diet and muscle repair. Olive oil, avocados, and other foods high in healthy fats supply vital nutrients and help the brain work.

Further, a tennis player stays hydrated to avoid exhaustion which affects performance. Thus, they regularly take electrolyte-rich beverages during competitions and training sessions in addition to drinking lots of water throughout the day. For added energy during games and practises, they also include nutrient-dense foods like fruits, nuts, and energy bars. You will always spot Djokovic with a banana on-court during match breaks to replenish his energy levels.

In addition, pre-match meals always include easily digestible foods such as vegetables. Eating heavy meals before a match affects the performance but it is allowed after a match. This comprehensively sums up what should tennis players eat.


A pro tennis player’s breakfast table will always have every food that strikes a nutrient balance, and one that provides immense energy. In short, there are proteins, carbohydrates, healthy fats, fruits and water.

Whole grains provide complex carbohydrates and include whole-grain pasta and oatmeal. Bananas, apples and berries provide a steady vitamins supply. Proteins on the table could have eggs, chicken, turkey, lean beef/mutton or beans and lentils. Starchy vegetables complete it all. Greek yoghurt or plant-based options like tofu or protein shakes are all good sources of proteins, which are crucial for muscle repair.


On fruits and what should tennis players eat; bananas are king. Due to their high potassium, natural sugar, and carbohydrate content, bananas are the most ideal fruits for tennis players.

Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic. Photo/Essentially Sports

They provide a reliable energy supply to players because the sport is highly draining. Bananas’ natural sugars give you a quick energy boost during games or demanding workouts. Further, they are also a good source of potassium, an electrolyte that supports the maintenance of healthy muscle function and guards against cramping.

Also, the potassium content in bananas supports healthy nerve and muscle cell communication. They also help to maintain fluid balance in the body.


Novak Djokovic eats a wholly plant-based diet. His diet is also gluten-free which helps him keep off health problems he had years ago when he was a gluten lover. Djokovic attributes his sterling tennis performance and general well-being to his nutritional choices.

He has talked about how eating a plant-based diet improved the quality of his life and tennis career. His dietary approach provides him with easily digestible foods that provide him with quick energy and better digestion.

The 23-time Grand Slam champion took his doctor’s advice of embracing a plant-based diet in 2016 and he doesn’t regret this decision. Djokovic’s first drink in the morning is a glass of warm water with lemon. He then takes blended celery juice and later a fruit smoothie.

In conclusion, what should tennis players eat solely lies in foods providing all his nutritional needs in a healthy way.

Teresa is a journalist with years of experience in creating web content. She is a wanderlust at heart, but an outgoing sports writer with focus on tennis, athletics, football, motorsports and NBA.

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