Andy Murray's Gluten Free Diet Helps Him Clinch The Olympic Gold
Andy Murray attributes the Olympics gold he won in the Men's singles, to his special workout and a gluten free diet. This Scottish tennis champ has claimed that a change is his diet is the reason behind his success. A male tennis player needs a high calorie diet that is rich in good quality proteins and complex carbohydrates. This blog takes a close look at the special dietary requirements of Olympians like Andy Murray that help set them apart from others.
High Calorie, High Protein Diet For Tennis Players
A male tennis player needs upwards of 5000 calories from food sources such as carbohydrates, fats and proteins to endure long hours at practice and the intense main event. This can be obtained if a meal plan is based in all the five food groups, which are best depicted in the food pyramid below. Skipping an item from even one of the food groups can cause insufficient nutrient intake. The diet needs to be well balanced with the majority of the calories coming from carbohydrates.
Ideal Diet For A Tennis Player
- Carbohydrates- The recommended intake of carbohydrates is 55 % to 65 % of the total intake of calories in a day. The best sources are whole grains and cereals, breads and pastas as well as fruits and vegetables. The high amount of fiber that these food groups contain helps in the steady release of glucose, which is important for a sportsperson. If sufficient amounts of carbohydrates are not eaten by a tennis player it will result in low blood sugar levels, followed by fatigue and tiredness.
- Protein- Without high intake of good quantity protein, the repair and recovery of muscles will not be adequate and may affect their growth and ultimately performance. For males, 1- 1.2 g of good quality protein from meat, poultry, dairy and lentils is recommended.
- Fats And Sugars- This is a food group that is needed by a tennis player in very minimal amounts as they generally lack nutrients and contribute only to calories. While sugar can be completely eliminated from the diet, 15 – 20 g of fats a day are needed to provide essential fatty acids and help in the absorption of fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K.
- Fluids- The purpose of sufficient fluid intake is to make up for water losses from urine and sweat that is more than normal in tennis players as they are involved in high intensity physical activity for many hours a day. Only plain water will not do, as it does not replace the electrolytes that are also lost with sweat. A combination of energy drinks and water is recommended for the best hydration levels.
Andy Murray's Diet Plan
He follows a high protein, high carbohydrate diet that has helped him to improve his performance and stamina.
After discovering that he was intolerant to gluten, Andy eliminated all trigger foods like wheat and follows a gluten free menu plan.
He has 2 bowls of cereal and bagels with a generous amount of peanut butter every morning for a healthy dose of carbohydrates and proteins.
Lunch is pasta and chicken with lots of tomato sauce. This is followed by a healthy dessert consisting of yogurt and fruit. Additionally, he eats high protein energy bars or vanilla flavored protein shakes. This gives plenty of calories, vitamins, minerals and fiber that are essential for a tennis player. The tomatoes provide the body with an antioxidant called lycopene that increases immunity and reduce pain in joints because of its anti inflammatory properties.
Dinner for Andy Murray is about 50 pieces of sushi that provide carbohydrates for adequate liver glycogen reserves and good quality amino acids that build and repair muscles and prevent them from getting fatigued.
He also enjoys eating spicy tuna rolls as a snack. They are rich in proteins and omega 3 fatty acids, important nutrients for health and well- being. The benefits of fish oil for an athlete are many and can also be obtained in the form of a supplement.
Andy Murray's new diet plan has turned him from puny to muscular and also helped him grab his beloved gold at the 2012 London Olympics. Way to go Andy!