Sugar. It has been the culprit to obesity in America and have caused many medical problems to people all over the world. In fact, high fructose corn syrup has been called "Japanese's Revenge" as that is where it originated. It even seems that nature nows the dangers of sugar as any sugar found in natural foods have some sort of fiber in them to keep the blood sugar from spiking even higher than it could. So to put it bluntly, do not consume sugar. No matter what you call it (honey, fruit, etc), it's still sugar and it does the same thing to your body. It raises insulin in your blood which promotes fat gain. Now that we got that out of the way, let's talk about how sugar is actually essential for an athlete! Sound confusing? Read on and it won't be!
The Importance of Sugar As An Athlete
When you workout (such as competing in a tough tennis match) you use energy. Energy, in the form of glycogen, is needed for the body to function. Although you will have fatigued muscles after an exhausting workout, your body does not care to replenish them with protein until its glycogen levels are back up. This means that any protein you have after a workout will be used for sugar, which is hard for the body to do. This can be detrimental to your health. Another important reason to eating the right food after your workout is recovery. The top athletes are always obsessed with recovery as they cannot push themselves the next day if they do not recover properly. This is the same for you as a tennis player!
The best way to think about what to have for a post workout is to consider your two most important things to give your body (in this order): sugar and protein. Sugar to replenish your sugar levels and protein to replenish your muscles. This is why the post workout protein bars have quite a bit of sugar in it. Other foods to consider would be: peanut butter and jelly, flavored yogurt, chocolate milk, fruit with almond butter or nuts. The next time you finish your workout, consider what you can do to help your body recover for the next match!
Here is a video on using your hips and back more efficiently on the serve!