Why do tennis players need bananas?
Each tennis player has his own set of food, which is compiled by their personal nutritionist for each tournament, but oddly enough, each of them always contains a banana. Therefore, during each match, an ordinary spectator can notice more than once how tennis players during breaks consume a couple of bananas at a time, washing it down with energy drinks, and this is not a joke.
Bananas are the main love of tennis players. And so strong that sometimes players do not start the match without them. Such a case was in 2018, when the athlete CoCo Vandeweghe refused to enter the court until they brought her this fruit.
Why do tennis players eat bananas during matches?
It is believed that back in the 1980s, famous tennis players Martina Navratilova and Boris Franz Becke appreciated the benefits of the product. Soon, the idea of a quick and nutritious snack was adopted by others. Now bananas are rightfully considered “food for athletes.” It is said that tennis players eat five of them per match. And there are reasons for that – in one fruit there is all the necessary set of micro and macro elements. The berry contains vitamins B6 and C, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, iron, fluorine, calcium, phosphorus.
The product has a low glycemic index (51). That is, it is quickly absorbed and instantly “recharges”. Plus, there is 2.6 ounces of water per 3.5 ounce of product, so it helps with dehydration. Another reason tennis players love bananas is that they are easy to consume. This is convenient, given that players are given no more than 120 seconds of break between games, and no more than 90 seconds when switching sides.
In addition, bananas help to cope with stress – they contain tryptophan, which increases the level of serotonin, the hormone of happiness. Another element that promotes well-being is gamma-aminobutyric acid, which is also found in the fetus.
One medium banana contains the necessary amount of potassium to restore the water-alkaline balance, which is important for athletes who sweat profusely. Plus, the mineral helps fight muscle cramps, and they often happen during intense workouts. The B vitamins in bananas are necessary for the restoration of the central nervous system and muscles. The product also contains a lot of pectin – it promotes the growth of healthy microflora and normalizes bowel function. In this case, valuable substances are absorbed better, and this, in turn, is the key to quality training. And, of course, a banana is a source of fast (simple) carbohydrates that quickly replenish the resources spent during training and provide energy.
Bananas are known as one of the best ways to prevent and fight cramps.
What is a tennis player’s worst nightmare during a match. As soon as a tennis player begins to have convulsions, it becomes almost impossible to continue the game. Cramps do not resolve quickly and cannot be treated like a normal injury.
Bananas contain an electrolyte called potassium, which helps keep fluid balance in your body’s cells and reduces the risk of seizures.
They are a rich source of vitamin C. One banana contains about 15% of the vitamin C you need every day.
Vitamin C helps strengthen muscles, ligaments, and keeps your immune system strong during the stress of exercise.
When is the best time to eat bananas – before or after a workout?
Bananas can be eaten both before a workout – to recharge your batteries, and after – to replenish your strength. It is advisable to consume the product 60 minutes before class, and after 15-20 minutes. The product is also suitable for gaining muscle mass and losing weight, but here it is important to determine your daily carbohydrate intake. For example, a person weighing 143 pounds needs about 5.2 ounce per day (based on 0.07 ounce per 2.2 pound weight), which is about 4-5 bananas. But getting the norm of carbohydrates only due to this berry is not worth it. Other foods that provide a long feeling of satiety are also important in the diet: cereals, legumes, vegetables and greens..
Some players prefer energy bars and some prefer bananas. Both work great, but bananas are a natural and healthier food. It can be eaten in 15 seconds.
During a match, tennis players are allowed a 90-second rest between and during sets. They do not want to spend all this time on food, they want to have time to drink water, think about the tactics of the game.
Bananas are one of the easiest sources of nutrients for your stomach. After a banana, you will not feel heaviness in the stomach and will be able to move quickly and easily, just like before eating.
The fact is that bananas are fast carbohydrates, which means that the feeling of hunger will also return very quickly. The best option is when the diet is 80% complex carbohydrates. In the remaining 20%, you can just include 1-3 bananas. And do not forget that bananas are quite high in calories (on average, about 120 calories per 0.2 pound) – you can easily get carried away and eat several at once.