Athlete Nutrition That Wins

Athlete nutrition to keep the joints and ligaments “lubricated” from the inside out is an important aspect of overall fitness as a tennis player. What you put in your body will often manifest itself in good health, or possible injury or illness. We live in a toxic world (from the air we breathe to the water we drink), so there are many facets to achieving and maintaining optimum health.

I’m not a certified nutritionist, but I've had personal experience with nutrition since 1992. I get most of my information from sources like Dr. Joseph Mercola, Dr. Don Colbert, and the HA Diet (which I was certified in as a "health minister" in 2010).

The body obviously needs water every day but not necessarily “eight glasses,” because raw fruits and vegetables in smoothies, etc. contribute to this total as well. I use filtered or distilled water to avoid the chlorine, fluoride, metals, and arsenic in TAP WATER.

With all the toxins we encounter, we need detoxing foods and supplements to aid and repair our system. I remember playing a match at a “Grand Prix” event (ATP Tour) in Los Angeles. The air quality was so poor, I could barely breathe. I didn’t know anything about athlete nutrition then, but my body needed a lot of pure water to clear out the toxins.

Cooked food is devoid of enzymes and other life giving properties. Some call this “dead” food. Raw uncooked food maintains the nutrients that your body craves and helps rid the body of toxins. Athletes should maintain a certain percentage of raw food in their diet to fuel their body to the max.

Our fruits and vegetables are grown in mineral depleted soil, chemically fertilized, sprayed with pesticides and herbicides, picked green, and taken through other food compromising processes. I try to consume mostly organic food. It’s more expensive, but I’d rather focus on preventative care now than pay later for “disease care.”

It seems like ninety percent of the food in the typical national chain grocery store falls under the category of The Standard American Diet (SAD), although the organic section in many of them seems to be increasing in size. The MSG (sodium) laced foods (like most ketchup, salad dressings, etc.) contribute to metabolic syndrome and the “battle of the bulge” because of the food cravings they create. Even with regular exercise, we have little chance to lose weight long-term through this fitness because of the chemical-laced food.

So what’s the answer for high-level athlete nutrition? It’s not “low-fat ham” the night before a match or “16 ounces of…sports drink” an hour before you play as suggested in a tennis magazine. Nor does your body need refined sugar or chemical-based sweeteners. What will allow me to experience vitality and a healthy life?

Here are a few starter nutrition tips: 1) Hydrate with chlorine and fluoride free water 2) Detox your system through FRESH juice (unprocessed, unpackaged) 3) Eat at least a third of your diet from raw fruits and vegetables 4) Supplement with minerals, antioxidants like resveratrol and turmeric curcumin, joint support from glucosamine, and heart healthy ingredients like flax seed, CoQ10, and omega fatty acids. 5) Use safe personal care ingredients.

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