Have you wondered what the tennis players eat?
They need to maintain their physical and mental health. And the stamina, agility, and drive they demonstrate on the court must be fueled by decidedly specific (or special) diet.
One that allows the likes of Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer, and Serena Williams to play at their peak levels throughout the year.
What are Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic’s diet?
Pasta is regarded as the best dish for any player—it’s a staple in their diet. Of course, how it is prepared differs.
Simona Halep, for instance, wants her pasta without any sauce. She just put olive oil and sprinkle it with parmesan cheese on occasions.
Stan Wawrinka loves his pasta with shrimp.
Federer’s diet: Pasta, chocolate, and cheese
Federer is a self-confessed pizza lover. But he munches on pasta before heading to a match. Pasta has been his go-to food before training or playing.
Federer believes that eating pasta is integral to his performance in court. He eats a plate of pasta with light sauce two hours before playing. He’s been doing this for 20 years.
Chocolate remains to be his favourite snacks, however. He eats chocolate-flavoured energy bars during a match, in addition to bananas.
At home, he’ll have waffles and fresh juice for breakfast before drinking his coffee.
Oddly enough, he follows through with a vinegar shot.
For dinner, he likes to eat spicy food. That could be Indian, Japanese or Italian food.
At times, he would have fonduta, a Swiss fondue made from milk, cheese, butter, and egg yolk. Federer also prefers food with raclette or heated cheese scraped onto his plate of pasta.
Nadal’s diet: Seafood, olive, and pasta
Nadal prefers seafood, especially fish and shrimp. His favourite is shrimp dumplings. He also loves olive and can eat it every day.
Nadal also eats pasta with shrimp and mushrooms.
He does not eat much before a match because it affects his play. But while playing, Nadal would eat bananas and quench his thirst with isotonic energy drinks.
True to his Spanish roots, he loves paella on his downtime. He also munches on cakes and chocolates in limited quantity.
Djokovic’s diet: Vegan pasta and fresh and dried fruits and vegetables
Djoko is well-known for his vegan, gluten-free diet. It’s not because of preference but due to gluten allergy.
He starts the day with a sweet, hearty breakfast composed of oat-based cereal mix with fruits and honey. Djokovic tries to incorporate glucose, fructose, and natural sweeteners from the fruits he eats.
If not fruits, he would combine green, leafy and fresh vegetables with his breakfast.
His lunch is a power bowl muesli (rolled oats) with dried cranberries, seeds (pumpkin or sunflower), sliced almonds, and golden raisins. He eats this with berries or sliced bananas or apples and almond milk.
Before a match, he would eat pasta with sun-dried tomatoes, yellow summer squash, zucchini, asparagus, garlic cloves and olive oil. Djokovic uses vegan cheese to top his pasta.
After a game, he eats a protein-rich meal. He prefers fish like seabass with mango and papaya salsa. Meat, fish, and eggs are his only protein sources, though.
His favourite snack has got to be blueberry almond butter smoothies.
With all that, in the tennis world, it’s not just about the proper diet, but also the players’ food routine.