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.
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.
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.
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