Coach Samson Dubina US National Team Coach 4x USATT Coach of the Year

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Table Tennis Nutrition

Learn How to Boost Your Level With FOOD!

As a table tennis coach, I receive hundreds of questions regarding a variety of topics including physical fitness, sports psychology, nutrition, and many other things.  In this blog, I’m going to briefly mention some basic nutrition rules that I have learned and try diligently to practice and encourage my students to practice as well.
Rule #1   Diets Don’t Work
Many of my friends have gone on 30 day or 60 day diets.  After losing 20 pounds from practically starving themselves, they are so excited, but their bodies are in shock.  So, when they return to their normal eating, their bodies hold on to the fat.  They lose 20 pounds but end up gaining 30 pounds.  Instead of going on a diet this year, consider a permanent life change.  Seriously consider changing your eating habits for life!
Rule #2   Cheating Doesn’t Finish the Diet
Sometimes, one of my friends will cheat on his diet by eating an extremely unhealthy meal.  After that, he quits his diet because he wrecked it.  That is terrible.  Instead of straying away, just return to it the next day or the next week. 
Rule #3   Be Selective
Starving yourself for a good length of time isn’t healthy.  Instead of starving, eat normal HEALTHY meals.  Be selective on what you buy at the grocery store and what you order at the restaurant.
Rule #4   Feast, Normal, Light
In the beginning of the day, you need more food to fuel your day.  So eat your largest meal for breakfast; eat a medium size meal for lunch; and eat a light meal for supper.  You don’t need to rake in the food and go to sleep on a bloated stomach.
Rule #5   Consider the Switch
A few years ago, I made the switch to whole grains – oatmeal instead of cereal, 100% whole wheat bread instead of white bread, brown rice instead of white rice, whole grain pasta instead of normal pasta.  When I began eating more whole grains, my energy lasted longer and I didn’t have any stomach problems.  It was also easier for me to stay leaner. 
Rule #6   Snacking
Light snacking can be ok if it is done in moderation.  Some healthy snacks that I would recommend would be – bananas, celery and peanut butter, nuts, carrot sticks, or a fruit smoothie.
Rule #7   Drinks
Some Americans drink over 2000 calories per day.  These are simple sugars that don’t last long and will leave you hungry in a short period of time.  Consider drinking only water throughout the day.  Many people who have switch to drinking only water have easily lost 10 pounds from making the change.  I try to drink around 6-8 quarts per day.  If you aren’t working out much, I would recommend about 4 quarts.  If you are training hard, you should try to drink 8 quarts per day.  Also, many food cravings can be caused by dehydration. 
Rule #8    Fuel Your Workouts
In order to train for table tennis with 100% intensity, you need to eat enough food.  On the days that you will be training, make sure to eat a large, healthy meal about 1-2 hours prior to your training session.  If you don’t eat enough, you won’t be able to train more than an hour or so and your game will suffer.  Eat healthy – train hard!