Tennis has certainly been the leading sport of the pandemic. While a number of other forms of group fitness were appropriately removed for safety reasons, tennis has built-in social distancing right into it, drawing people to the game who had never even picked up a racket before.
Attending a convention is, of course, business as usual for Sloane Stephens. The professional tennis player became the youngest in the top 100 when she was 18, and she has even * crushed it * in the decade since – including the victory in the US Open in 2017.
As with any sport, training does not only take place on the court or in the gym; what you eat also matters. Stephens says she does not have many “rules” or restrictions when it comes to eating; for the most part, she just goes for whatever it is she wants. “The most important thing is that I try to eat a lot of roughage,” she says. “When I was a kid, I did not like salads, but as I get older, I try to get something green for every meal.” Stephens says that for her, she just feels better when she gets her fibers in.
Are you curious about what an average dining day looks like for a professional tennis player? Here, Stephens reveals what she likes to eat at each meal. It’s not meant to be seen as something to copy – everyone’s dietary needs are different – it’s just a voyeuristic look into the professional life of a professional athlete.
Keep reading to see professional tennis player Sloane Stephens’ food diary.
Stephens says her mornings are consistently hectic because she needs to work out, so she needs a breakfast that is ready ASAP. Her main go-to is Greek yogurt. “I put some fruit, granola and honey on top to make it a little fancy,” she says. Greek yogurt serves as the main protein for her meal, while the fruit and granola are both full of heart-healthy fiber. When she is not feeling yogurt, she will change it by making plain oatmeal and throwing raisins on top.
As she gets ready in the morning, Stephens says she drinks a lot water so she has had plenty to drink before her workout starts. That said, her method of hydration is thought-provoking (read: no girls here). Have you ever drunk a ton of water just before exercising? Not funny. Gradual hydration, she says, prevents having a stomach full of splashing water later. She is also a big fan of Hydrant (which she is an ambassador for) because it adds flavor and added benefits to her glass.
Spending hours perfecting your tennis game means having healthy, energy-boosting snacks on hand is a must. Stephens says her morning workout is typically two hours, and then she gets a break before training another hour and a half. “I’m a big snacker,” she says. A snack you almost always find in her workout bag is a Quantum protein bar ($ 3.99). “I also sometimes want to cut fruit, like pineapple, strawberry, green apple, or throw a banana in it,” she says. And of course, she will also hydrate with more water.
When it comes to lunch, Stephens says that what she eats depends on how much time she has. On days when her workout program is super busy, she makes a quick smoothie before going back to work. But on days when she has a little more time, she loves to taste homemade salmon and a salad. “I cook my salmon with lots of lemon juice and add lots of avocado [to the salad], “she says.” I eat it enough for lunch three to four times a week. When I live in Florida, I’m lucky I can get fresh fish really easily. “
On days when she only has time for a smoothie, Stephens says she packs it with protein to make sure it is actually satisfying enough to serve as a stand-alone meal. “I make a smoothie with oat milk, peanut butter, honey and vanilla protein powder,” she says. “It’s so delicious it seriously tastes like dessert.”
With all her training done, dinner is a little more relaxed for Stephens. Right now, she says she really enjoys Greek cuisine and that a great Greek salad with lamb chops is her go-to when she eats out and gets it on the menu. She also loves a simple, comforting meal like chicken and vegetables. “I’m a picky eater, so I keep it pretty basic,” she says.
Stephens says she’s not a big dessert person, but there’s one sweet she often feels like: Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. “I have eaten a lot of emotional comfort and there is a Cheesecake Factory right next to my house,” she says. “At one point during the pandemic, I got a slice of cheesecake, such as three times a week.”
Hi, if you need a slice of cheesecake, you might as well have a slice of cheesecakeright?
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