As part of a six-part content series presented by Sobeys, we will share the expertise of multiple Tennis Canada spokespeople including our nutritionist Ariane Lavigne, coaches, advisors as well as players and their parents when it comes to food, family, and sport. In this second article, members of the Canadian Davis Cup team shared their go-to healthy snacks and some of their favourite meals.
It’s no secret that proper nutrition plays a vital role in every athlete’s performance on the court. For those competing at the highest level, nutritional plans are meticulously created for every occasion from offseason training to in-season training blocks, in-tournament mode, as well as rest and recovery periods. Depending on the situation and the particular conditions or climate they find themselves in, a player’s diet and fluid intake will be optimized.
That doesn’t change the fact that most high performance athletes are foodies at heart just like the rest of us and our Davis Cup players are no exception. They were eager to share the different foods that fuel them the most.
Snacking is an important part of any tennis player’s regime because they need to eat light to keep their energy up and avoid becoming lethargic due to being too full. Gabriel Diallo, Alexis Galarneau, Denis Shapovalov, and Kelsey Stevenson indicated that protein bars, energy gels, nuts, and even vegan beef jerky made from mushrooms are among their go-to snacks while training or playing. Sobeys offers a wide range of Compliments snack items, such as mixed nuts or cereal bars, that would fit well in any athlete’s daily nutritional regimen.
As for meals, a light breakfast and lunch followed by a hearty dinner are on the menu while in-tournament.
“Eggs, potatoes, and some fruits for breakfast. I try to avoid meat in the morning because it’s tough to digest, it takes more time,” said Diallo. “At lunch, I go with a salad (lettuce, carrots, mozzarella, tomatoes, balsamic vinaigrette and a little bit of olive oil) and white meat (chicken or fish). Sometimes I’ll throw in some pasta or some rice. For dinner, I try to eat a lot of protein so chicken or steak, a little bit of carbs and a little bit of greens.”
Sobeys is serving up some healthy meals that are not only great to keep the body fueled, but also a perfect, lighter choice for the holiday season when we tend to overindulge including herb-crusted rack of lamb and brussels sprouts, sage, apple and walnut stuffed turkey breast, pepper, mustard, and thyme-crusted roast beef, and pomegranate-glazed salmon.
During rest periods and time off, the guys spoil themselves a bit when it comes to food while still keeping up their physical edge thanks to regular, intense gym workouts. Meat as well as pancakes or waffles are added at breakfast, poké bowls, pasta, and pizza for lunch, and they splurge the most at dinnertime with steak, burgers with all the fixings, fries, along with Mexican or Indian food. It’s all about balance and moderation after all.
Regardless of where they are in the tennis calendar, proper nutrition is always at the forefront of every player’s daily routine. So much so that they often become passionate about food and eating well. It’s a great way to approach one of the most important ways to stay healthy that we have full control over.