Liezel Huber talks nutrition
Originally published on 24/04/14
People tell you that what you put into your body is what you take out, so we say, if you eat a pizza, you will play like a pizza.
Whether it’s the night before or the day of a match, or even the week leading up to a tournament, if you are eating French fries you are probably going to get that out of the match.
It’s important to have a balanced diet. When I am at a tournament I tend to eat more carbohydrates – I don’t want to short change myself and I am scared if I don’t eat enough I will only have half a tank.
I eat the same kinds of food all year round but at tournaments I will eat more.
I couldn’t tell you if I ate 2,000 or 3,000 calories a day because I believe the best guideline is how you feel. When you feel sluggish it’s probably because of something you ate so you know that it was a bad choice. It’s just about using common sense and choosing nutritious food that will give you the most energy.
I’m a coelic so I have to avoid foods containing wheat and flour. I played for many years not realising I had an allergy, feeling bloated and uncomfortable and getting stomach cramps on court. When I cut gluten out of my diet I felt better instantly.
On court I drink electrolyte drinks. If you choose to drink sports drinks, I recommend diluting them and adding a little salt to help with rehydration. I eat bananas to give me energy – bananas are high on the low GI scale. Some people say they don’t help you right away, but they work for me.
After a match I have a USANA Nutrimeal shake. Sometimes you come off court and you don’t feel like eating so I always have the bottle in my locker with the powder already in it so I just add water. They’re gluten-free so I always have one in my bag.