Food for Thought: Sleep Matters ... A Lot

Monday, December 12, 2011 /by

As a sports nutritionist who works with professional and competitive athletes, including tennis players, I’m always on the lookout for tips and tricks that give my clients an edge. An in my 10-plus years of practice, not a week goes by that we don’t learn more about how particular foods and nutrients help the body operate like a well-oiled machine. Each one of your body’s 100 trillion cells relies solely on what you eat and drink to fuel your performance and help you recover. And while sports nutrition isn’t an exact science, there are plenty of tried and true techniques every tennis player should know.


The 20 Things You Need to Know About Nutrition


5. Sleep Matters ... A Lot
It may not seem like a nutrition-related issue, but I ask all of my clients about the quantity and quality of their sleep because it’s so vital to metabolism and recovery. Healing and repair from the wear and tear of exercise largely occurs during sleep, and getting too little shut-eye has been shown to rev up hunger hormones, increase inflammation, up the risk of obesity, depression, type 2 diabetes and heart disease, and negatively impact productivity and performance. To get the most out of your workouts and healthy eating regime, you absolutely must make sleep a priority. Establish a regular sleep and wake time schedule, even on the weekends, and create a sleep-conducive environment. Ideal sleep conditions include a dark, quiet room between 54 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit.

More:

1. Your Diet Impacts Your Brain Function
2. The Right Breakfast Fights Hunger All Day
3. Food Can Fight Pain
4. Don't Run on Empty
5. Sleep Matters ... A Lot
6. Omega-3s Are Beyond Essential
7. Milk Does More Than Double Duty
8. Don't Get Fooled by the Afterburn Myth
9. Organic Food is Worth the Extra Money
10. Alcohol May Weaken Muscle
11. Relying on the Sun for Vitamin D May Be a Mistake
12. Spices are a Secret Weapon
13. Chocolate is a Key Superfood
14. Buyer Beware When it Comes to Supplements
15. A Little Vitamin C Makes a Big Difference
16. Variety Trumps Quantity for Fruits & Veggies
17. Drinking Water May Help You Lose Weight
18. Bacteria Are Critical to Your Health
19. Calcium Isn't Just for Strong Bones
20. Let an Expert Personalize Your Plan


Originally published in the January/February 2012 issue of TENNIS.

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