Nutritionist and head of the Lawn Tennis Association, Glenn Kearney, spills his most effective diet tips that will guarantee the success of any athlete. If you’re not an athlete, don’t worry. Most of these tips apply to normal folk and will help you live a happier and healthier life. We have a lot to learn from the athletes diet and how they keep themselves fit and healthy. There’s a reason why Andy Murray’s performance is in tiptop shape. Any athlete will tell you that ninety percent of their success starts and ends with a plate of food in front of them.
Winning is usually the name of the game for most athletes. That’s not necessarily the case for a normal person. Usually the population tends to want to achieve a beautifully sculpted and fit aesthetic. If that’s you then some of these tips from Glenn Kearney will really help your journey. And if you’re an aspiring athlete and want to make it to the top then Kearney knows exactly how you need to fuel your game for success.
Kearney is a master of sports nutrition and helps many athletes reach their goals. His holistic approach with the British team has resulted in many successful athletes. Better yet, he gets them fit, healthy and performing optimally in a shorter space of time. Who wants to spend hours and hours training for little results? Nobody.
Nutritionist Tips From The Master
The key to any kind of nutrition plan is to ensure that it’s personalized to every individual. We are all unique and Kearney always takes this into consideration. Most of his time is spent creating customized plans for the players. As well as organizing the logistics of food and meal planning for an entire team of 20. He is quite versatile and doesn’t only work with tennis players but rugby players too.The nutritionist tells Tennishead that he needs to understand the demands of the match details very clearly. This means that it’s important to know whether the tennis athlete is playing a three-set or five-set match. Kearney says that he has to work back from the match and set up their plan for 16-24 hours before. This is so that his athletes are hyper-hydrated when they go on the court. In addition, the nutritionist says it’s especially important for Grand Slams and Davis Cup where the player has to endure five sets. For example, when Andy Murray has to play three different matches this effects what he must put on his plate for fuel significantly.
As a nutritionist for athletes, it’s important to know when they will require a lot of energy and for how long. In fact, Kearney says that athletes must focus on maximizing their muscle glycogen up to 16 hours before their match. He says it’s best to start doing this by increasing the volume of the carbohydrate you eat and focusing on the type of food you eat. In addition, you also need to concentrate on how much fluid you have with that. What does this mean for you? Basically, you MUST fuel your body properly before going to bed the night before an intense match.
More importantly, be sure to make your fuel enjoyable. It’s important to meal prep and to consider the quality and taste of your food.
What Does The Nutritionist Recommend For Athletes?
We will get into the specifics of Kearney’s top nutritionist diet tips in a bit. However, there are some important principles to consider, depending on the kind of sport or activity you do.
Kearney says that tennis singles players tend to require more snacking than doubles players. It’s very important to keep your energy levels consistent. He adds that they usually do some bodyweight checks in the morning to see what weight the players wake up with. This gives you a good estimate of your hydration status. The nutritionist says this helps a lot to build the ideal meal plan going forward before match day.
Fuelling properly also helps you settle the nerves before a big game. However, the type of activity you’re engaging in does make a big difference. Kearney used to work with the New Zealand rugby union team. He also worked for three years with the Great Britain track and field team. So this nutritionist knows what he’s doing!
Tennis Is Different To Most Sports
Master nutritionist says tennis is extremely demanding physically and mentally. He says in a five-set match you are right at the extremes of physical endurance. That’s why you need to carry less weight than a rugby player would. It makes sense. You can’t be super muscular and heavy and expect the run around for five hours without burning out.
Rugby players require more protein because they need to be a lot stronger and more energetic for a short amount of time. A lot goes into prepping a tennis athlete like Andy Murray. You need to consider their weight before and after a match. Generally, you will drop weight after an intense match which is due to a loss of moisture which is a good target to work with for the next.
The nutritionist says a long match leaves you quite fatigued. You then have a very limited time to restore the body and muscle tissue. This is when your nutrition and recovery is highly important. You need a combination of physical recovery like ice baths and physiotherapy to wind down the body again.
Glenn Kearney Top Nutrition Tips
Thank you to GPan.Org we have managed to get hold of Kearney’s best tips for fuelling an athletes body.
1. Eat Frequent, Small to Medium Sized Meals
The nutritionist doesn’t recommend eating a single meal or three large meals for athletes. Often this pattern leads to infrequent meals throughout the day, which leads to poor training gains and poor recovery. What happens? You will experience a loss of lean body mass and an increase in fat mass.
Therefore, Kearney suggests eating regular and healthy foods like high-quality low-fat protein and complex fiber-rich carbohydrates. As well as healthy fats which are essential for all athletes who are trained to gain lean body mass and maximal strength. The nutritionist recommends eating small meals consisting of a complex carbohydrate, protein, and healthy fats 5-6 times a day. It’s an adjustment but you’re looking at eating every 2-3 hours throughout the day. This kind of diet will help to keep your energy levels high and give you the proper nutrients for recovery between challenging workouts.
2. Include Protein In Every Meal
Any nutritionist will emphasize the importance of protein in your diet. Especially in an athlete’s diet.
It’s vital to help build lean muscle. Just a small amount of protein with every meal can make a massive difference to the process. Kearney recommends choosing lean protein sources like Greek yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese, whey protein, and casein protein. You can also opt for chicken, low-fat beef, canned (or fresh) tuna/salmon, prawns, turkey, egg whites, all fish and lean pork cuts. A moderate amount of nuts and seeds are fantastic sources too.
Just don’t overdo things with protein. All you need to do is keep your meals frequent with small portions of protein. Experts recommend approximately1.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass for healthy adults who are engaging in daily rigorous physical activity. Kearney adds that high-performance athletes can achieve even better results with 2.0 to 2.5 grams of protein per kilogram of body mass. To determine the appropriate protein intake.
3. Don’t Forget To Fuel After Your Workout
When you exercise, your body’s protein structures are broken down and your carbohydrate stores run out. Therefore, this nutritionist recommends replenishing these nutrients immediately. It is critical that out of your six
meals in the day that the biggest meals are eaten following your workout. (Healthy carbohydrates, fats, and proteins.)
4. Stay Away From Refined Carbohydrates And Sugar
This is a big no! Kearney says you need to treat your body like a temple. Potato fries, high sugar juices, sodas, chocolates, pizza’s and ice-creams are not your friends. Athletes in particular. This will increase your fat mass, cause massive blood sugar fluctuations, and result in poor recovery.
In fact, this applies to all of us even if you’re not an athlete. The nutritionist believes you will find discipline if you are serious about your training.
5. Stay Hydrated
This is crucial! Never allow your body to dehydrate. You lose a lot of body water throughout the day. When you lose too much water it can affect performance significantly. Even just the slightest loss in water can hinder your success.
Therefore, Kearney, master nutritionists advises us to make hydration a priority. All you need to do is carry a water bottle around with you to sip on. Black coffee and tea are also great options to keep hydrated.
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