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The Keys to Nutritional Success on the Court

April 19th, 2021 | 2 min. read

By Jen Azevedo

By Jackie Resler - Tennis Pro Coach

Every person on this planet is searching for prosperity and trying to find success in everything they do.


One of the key factors in trying to accomplish our goals is keeping our minds and bodies fueled. The human body is very similar to a machine, and without energy, those machines fail. Chances are, improving one’s nutrition is the best way to increase success in any aspect of life. 

After years of playing tennis throughout high school and college, I found a nutrition routine that was the best for me to succeed. Usually two hours before a match, I consume a meal that includes gluten-free pasta, steak, and meal replacement powder with chocolate milk.

I couldn’t agree with you more how disgusting that sounds, especially when I had to eat this for breakfast before morning matches. But after years of tinkering with my diet, this interesting combination allowed me to feel good and be competitive. 

Having a consistent eating schedule helped me be prepared for game day, especially during college. I wanted my dietary schedule to be the same because I would feel confident and comfortable with both time and focus. Before I formulated this plan, I was always unsure about how my body would react to what I had eaten that day. 

When I see my students and clients eating before playing a match, the quality of their meal is a huge indication on how they will play that day. If the player is eating potato chips and fast food for lunch, a lack luster performance would not be shocking. But if a player is eating a quality meal, there is a lot more confidence in both the dedication and standard of play.

Every player’s body is different, so it takes some research to figure out what is the best diet for all players. My doubles partner in college would eat a king-size Snicker bar before every match. It may sound crazy, but this diet worked for her, as the energy from the bar and her explosive play style worked well together. 

When I switched to gluten free pasta on a whim, I felt much lighter on the court, and my breathing improved tremendously. This led me to the discovery that I have a low tolerance for gluten, leading to improvements in all aspects of my diet. As for the steak, my Argentinian upbringing and heritage likely explains why that protein intake is so helpful to me. And finally, when I added the chocolate milk and meal replacement powder, I noticed that my stamina improved, letting me go farther into matches as I burned more carbohydrates and protein.

For most people, this diet would be way too heavy, so please do not try it before your next big match. But for me, each addition to my meal helped me find success on the court. I felt like I could always play my best tennis when I eat this meal. It is strange, but I have won so many matches by eating this consistently.

Finding the meal to eat before any important performance can be a huge boost to your success. You could have all the studying and training in the world, but it won’t mean anything if your brain and body are not fueled efficiently. In conclusion, make sure to find specific foods and drinks that helps you perform at a higher level.


Find something that will make you feel good and confident before your match, as it can make a huge impact in your performance. 

Jen Azevedo

Jen Azevedo is a person of many talents. She is a tennis professional, pickleball professional, personal trainer, group exercise instructor, and the general manager of the Paseo Club. She loves the community at the Paseo Club and that it is also a safe and fun place for her daughter. Jen’s favorite activities are joining her tribe for trail races or her partners for tennis matches. Occasionally Jen slows down to relax with a book — she reads over 100 a year!