eBaTT – Table Tennis Nutrition
Eleni is a former nationally ranked table tennis player that has taken health as her priority and today she is a professional health and nutrition lifestyle coach. Eleni graduated at the Kings Cross CNM
Nourish yourself to the top…
Being a top athlete within your sport doesn’t solely depend on how hard you train, although it helps! The most important thing to remember is that you as an athlete are responsible for how efficiently you fuel your body. Just like a car can’t function without gas, athlete’s cannot perform without nutrients.
Understandably, an athletic lifestyle can include a very overwhelming schedule, no matter which level you’re playing at. It can be difficult to prepare meals and easy to grab the foods that provide a quick source of energy. In order to be the top of your game, replacing nourishment with convenience is not the best habit to be in.
“Nutrition cannot substitute for raw talent, training, mental preparation or equipment, but bad nutrition can destroy performance” – Stone Foundation 2005
High-intensity training for Table Tennis
High-intensity training for any sport can put stress on the body, which needs to be recovered in the right way. Each system of the body has a requirement for different nutrients in order for the athlete to perform to the best of their ability. Without going into too much detail, these requirements are as follows;
Muscles – Protein is required for the muscle fibres to repair after exercise. In addition to this, muscles require glycogen as a form of energy, which is obtained from carbohydrates. Green leafy vegetables provide muscles with the appropriate vitamins and minerals which are required to relax muscle fibres and improve blood flow to the muscles.
Heart – A variety of different fruits, vegetables and whole grains provide the body with antioxidants, a form of nutrients that is vital for controlling blood sugars and blood pressure, helping to reduce the risk of fatigue.
Lungs – In order to transport oxygen around the body, especially during a state of competition, the lungs require sufficient amounts of iron, vitamin A and magnesium. These vitamins and minerals are obtained from a variety of different fruits and vegetables.
Adrenals – The adrenals are responsible for helping to cope with stress on the body, whether that be physical or mental stress. In order to promote adrenal health, a sufficient amount of protein, vitamins (B’s especially) and minerals are required.
No one diet fits all:
Whether the athlete is at a beginner, intermediate or elite level, there is not one diet that fits all. However, there are basic guidelines that athletes should follow, whilst taking their training routine into consideration. The most important thing to remember in relation to eating and training is that carbs aren’t only allowed before exercise, and protein isn’t only required after exercise.
Pre-workout – It seems to be a common trend for athlete’s, no matter at which level they’re at, to be taking various pre-workout supplements. These can range from creatine, amino acids, caffeine, etc. When not used appropriately, these supplements can have detrimental effects on the body and therefore performance.
** ADDITIONAL SUPPLEMENT ADVICE AVAILABLE ON REQUEST**
Timings are very important when it comes to eating and performing. 2-3 hours before any exercise a meal should be consumed that incorporates foods with a low glycaemic index (minimal effect on blood sugars). This includes foods such as; Sweet potatoes, oats, beans, lentils, whole grains, vegetables, etc. 1-2 hours before exercise is when a pre-workout snack should be consumed. This includes foods such as; Fresh or dried fruits, nuts, smoothies, protein shake, etc.
During the workout – This is only necessary if the workout duration is longer than 2 hours. To avoid the risk of fatigue development, foods with a high glycaemic index should be consumed. Along with water, foods such as; bananas, raisins, sports drinks/gels are absorbed quickly and easily, without the risk of developing stomach cramps during the workout/competition.
Post workout – Within 2 hours of finishing a workout or competition, a combination of carbohydrates, protein, ‘good’ fats and micronutrients should be consumed. An example of a suitable meal to consume post workout would be; Brown rice + Salmon fillet + avocado + green leafy salad. A combination of protein and carbohydrates improves the muscle’s ability to recover efficiently and avoids the risk of the loss of lean muscle mass.
The best sources of…
PROTEIN CARBOHYDRATES FATS
Quinoa – 1 cup – 8g of protein Potato – 1 small – 15g of carbs Olive oil – 1 tbsp – 14g of fat
Buckwheat -1 cup – 6g of protein Rice – 1/2 cup -15g of carbs Avocado – 1 large – 25g of fat
Lentils – 1 cup – 18g of protein Lentils – 1 cup – 30g of carbs Salmon – 100g – 7g of fat
Beans – 1 cup – 13g of protein Beans – 1 cup – 15g of carbs Lamb – 85g – 20g of fat
Nuts – 1/4 cup – 4g Nuts – 1 cup – 20g of carbs Egg – 1 large – 5g of fat
Seeds – 1/4 cup – 7g of protein Seeds – 1/4 – 4g of carbs Seeds – 1oz – 14g of fat
Oats – 1/2 cup – 7g of protein Oats – 1/2 cup – 15g of carbs Coconut oil – 1tsp – 4g of fat
Broccoli – 1 cup – 4g of protein Broccoli – 1 cup – 6g of carbs Cheese – 1 slice – 9g of fat
Spinach – 1 cup – 5g of protein Pasta – 1 cup – 14g of carbs Chicken – 1 cup – 18g of fat
Tempeh – 85g – 15g of protein Rye – 1 slice – 15g of carbs Sardines – 1 can – 10g of fat
Eggs – 1 egg – 6g of protein Couscous – 1 cup – 35g of carbs
Tuna Steak – 85g – 23g of protein Berries – 1 cup – 14g of carbs
Beef – 85g – 18g of protein
Chicken – 85g – 24g of protein
There are specific dietary requirements for each individual athlete and their own level of competition. If you would like a more personalised nutrition plan based on your athletic level, please contact Eleni Kailou for more information.