I don’t know about you, but I’m a huge fan of snacking during my matches. I also believe in BYOS (Bring Your Own Snacks) – especially when my team is the visitor. SO many times, the opponents’ snack tables were disappointing, to say the least. I know it isn’t mandatory to provide snacks, but if you’re actually going to make an effort, there should be more offered than a jar of mixed nuts and candy (yes, that actually happened once around Halloween!) Of course, I love both of those, but neither will provide optimal energy on the courts.
The best snacks for matches or grueling practice sessions are those high in simple carbohydrates, minerals, and vitamins and low in protein and fiber. Those will be quickly digested, giving players energy sooner and without wasting energy on complex digestion. And you definitely want low fiber because… well, they might make you need to poop during your match.
10 BEST SNACKS FOR YOUR TENNIS BAG:
- Bananas are the number one snack choice of tennis players. Besides being an all-natural snack, bananas provide quick energy in the form of fructose. They’re also full of potassium which helps combat cramps.
- Pretzels are also an excellent option for snacks during a tennis match. They taste awesome (haters gonna hate), will not upset your stomach, and are a great energy source. They also come in individual packs.
- Energy Bars can be outstanding sources of energy, but you need to make sure you choose the right ones. Some energy bars are pretty much just candy bars with a fancy package. You should choose bars that have good ingredients and that don’t contain too much sugar. If you don’t, you’ll end up with nothing more than a sugar rush and a sugar crash. Also, do not confuse these with “protein bars”. You do not want to nosh on something that might make you feel sluggish on the court.
- Energy Chews are a good option for tennis players who get an upset stomach if they eat something on the court. These are full of carbohydrates, but they also contain vitamins and minerals in them. However, they are mostly made of sugar, so we recommend you use them as a last resort.
- Crackers are very similar to pretzels in the sense that they are easily digested, are relatively light, and can give you significant amounts of energy. They also have a decent amount of sodium which is an electrolyte. I personally enjoy Goldfish crackers, but there are a considerable number of good options out there.
- Dry Cereal is not just for breakfast – it can be a great source of energy during a match. You can find them in individual packages and eat a little every changeover. Choose one with whole grains and just a little sugar.
- Rice Cakes are an excellent choice if you’re looking for energy from an overall healthier food. They have almost no protein or fiber, so they’ll keep you feeling light on the court.
- Animal Crackers are awesome for a little energy on the court. They’re a good source of calcium, too – and who doesn’t need more calcium?
- Sport Beans (that’s really what they’re called) are a good option for tennis players who get an upset stomach if they eat something on the court. They are full of carbohydrates, but they also contain vitamins (like B6) and minerals in them. They do contain a lot of sugar (which is why they taste so amazing!) but you will probably burn right through it in your match.
- Frozen Grapes are great for a sweet pick-me-up. They might be a little melted by the time you get to them, but that’s OK cuz they’re still delicious! They offer hydration along with easy-to-digest nutrients like potassium.
Here are the runner-up snacks which are still delicious, but they may have a tad more protein, fiber, or sugars than I personally like.
- Veggie Chips
- Vanilla Wafers
- Graham Crackers
- Granola Bars
- Carrot Sticks
- Celery Sticks with Peanut Butter
- Orange Segments or Slices
- Berries (in a Ziploc bag or resealable cup)
- Nuts and Seeds (Almonds, Cashews, Walnuts, Pumpkin Seeds, Sunflower Seeds)