What to eat before a table tennis competition

What to eat before table tennis competition

Good food preparation is necessary if you want to play to your highest ability at your table tennis tournament. First, eating a healthy and balanced breakfast will give your body the energy it needs throughout the matches. Table tennis matches will usually start at around 9 am thus eating breakfast early is very important. Try to consume breakfast 2-3 hours before your match.

Here are some foods to eat for breakfast

Best choices for breakfast:  

Cereal – with low-fat milk  

Yogurt – low-fat, plain or with fruit 

French toast and/or pancakes – with honey 

Egg dishes – not deep fried  

Ham – not deep fried

Potato – not deep fried  

Rice – not deep fried  

Noodles, Pasta  Toast

Muffins – try jam or jelly, not butter  

Beverages – Athletes should drink plenty of fluid, try not to drink beverages with too much sugar like your canned drinks.

What to eat before table tennis competition

Best choices for lunch or dinner  

Fruit and vegetables

Meat, Fish, Poultry

Meat alternatives – beans, peas, and lentil dishes if these are familiar foods; gas produced when these foods are not part of the usual diet can cause discomfort.  





Salads (small amount of dressing) 

Foods to Avoid  

– Fatty foods, because they are slow to digest  

– Protein-rich food, because they are slow to digest and are not needed as fuel during exercise  

– Alcoholic beverages such as wine, and beer, because they can have a dehydrating effect. 

– Spicy foods may be difficult to digest prior to exertion.

Before exercise, fiber-rich foods like whole-grain bread and whole-wheat cereals, dried fruits (prunes, etc.) stimulate digestion and induce elimination. These foods should be avoided.

Gas-producing foods like cabbage, broccoli, onions, and carbonated drinks, make some athletes feel bloated. Coffee, tea, cola, and chocolate may cause diarrhea, which can have a dehydrating effect

What to eat before table tennis competition

General Recommendations

In order to supply adequate nutrients and energy for optimum performance, an athlete’s diet must be well balanced. This will also provide for the repair and maintenance of tissues and for growth. Attention should be focused on the five following areas:
1. Eat a variety of foods – combine grains, vegetables, fruits, milk products and meat
2. Energy intake – energy requirements vary according to age, gender, body composition and type of activity related to intensity and volume.
3. Carbohydrate consumption – this is the main energy source for Table Tennis athletes. Carbohydrates stored in muscles can be depleted after an hour, depending on the intensity of the matches.
4. Fluids – the need for water increases since players perspire and ventilate. Dehydration leads to a decrease in performance.
5. Protein – some protein is necessary to provide for adequate maintenance of muscle mass and for repairing tissue. 

On competition day, the main objective is to ensure that the Table Tennis player is well hydrated and has sufficient energy to meet the challenges of the matches for the day. Coaches and athletes should focus on: 

 1. The quality and volume of familiar food to be available 

 2. Food should be over 60% carbohydrate 

 3. Fat content should be 20% or less 

 4. Sufficient fluid is available 

 5. Snacks for between matches. 

Stretching and warming up correctly are extremely important as well. A proper warm-up and stretch should last 20-30 minutes and should consist of jogging/biking and stretching. Without warming up, your body is prone to injury. After stretching, try doing some drills on the ping-pong table to get your feet moving.
Getting an adequate amount of sleep the night before a tournament is also very very important.
One definitely does not want to be tired while in a match. Not sleeping enough can cause you to get easily frustrated.
Following these tips will definitely help you to perform your best in your next tournament.

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