We all know what it feels like to come off a tennis court, tired, weary and a little sore. You have chased down balls, tracked back to get the lob and thundered down the serves. Regardless of your level of play it is important to refuel your body as soon as possible after you play. This will speed up your recovery and help those aching muscles. The experts tell us we have a 30-minute window post exercise after which your body and muscles are most receptive to replenishing them with nutrients. It is vital that you make use of this window to refuel your body.
The best post exercise fuel should supply carbohydrate to replenish depleted glycogen stores, as well as protein to repair and rebuild the muscles. The human can absorb between 18-25g of protein in one sitting. Protein is needed to build muscle, stay healthy, repair cells and fight off infection, making these products ideal for tennis players.
Nowadays there is greater awareness as to what we are putting into our bodies. It is no longer good enough to be replenishing your body with processed rubbish. Natural proteins are best for the body and best for recovery. There are so many healthy choices vegan, lactose and fat free that there is no reason why you cant be making a healthy choice too. So how do we choose the best? I tried dozens and selected the best based on a combination of taste, healthiness, texture and ease of consumption.
Meridian Peanut & Cocoa Bar
Meridian Peanut Bar is a protein rich snack packed with 55% peanuts making it one of the healthiest snack bars available. One bar provides 8g of protein which is ideal for recovery. The bars are made with Meridian’s popular nut butters and are wheat free, and suitable for vegans. I found the Meridian bars really tasty. I loved the nutty texture and taste of the bars and could eat it quickly without much fuss. It was actually enjoyable and I could certainly enjoy this bar with a nice cup of tea.
Pulsin Protein Booster Bar
The Pulsin Protein Boosters are made with a variety of nuts, as well as a combination of pea & rice protein to provide maximum nutritional benefits and 13g of natural protein. I loved the texture of this bar it was such a sweet tasty snack.The bar is also extremely compact and in 3 bites it is gone. There are many tasty flavours but my favourite was the mint choc chip. Very very moreish. Mmmm.
The Primal Pantry snack bars
The Primal Pantry snack bars are gluten free, dairy free, paleo, vegan and vegetarian friendly and so will be suitable for almost everyone. Made with 100% of real food and no manufactured processed ingredients. Each bar contains 4 natural ingredients. Texture wise the bars are very rich and sweet. They are also very dense. 22g of sugar per bar make these ideal for those on the Paleo diet who want to get their sugar fix. If you need your caffeine fix then the Double Espresso Protein bars are for you. Not a fan of caffeine? Fear not there are plenty of other flavours to get your teeth into too.
Lucho dillitos are a 100% natural alternative to modern sports nutrition. A Colombian recipe made from Guava and sugar. Lucho Dillitos come in blocks and are wrapped in Biodegradable leaf wrapping which can be tossed in a bush after your game. The small compact packaging enable them to be stuffed easily into a racket bag and provide a welcome boost of energy. If you don’t like wolfing down bars or the texture of gels then Lucho dillitos could be for you. The Lucho dillitos are soft, easily eaten and sweet tasting and 100% natural. Get a sick stomach from your sport nutrition? Guava is known to be great for your digestive system.
Grenade Carb Killa
The Grenade bars are high in protein and low in carbohyrate for those looking to reduce their intake of carbs. They are also covered in chocolate too for those that have a sweet tooth and all taste pretty good. You could quite easily have this for a snack or at lunch. With such a wide range of flavours there is bound to be one for everyone. For tennis players watching their weight, these could be the energy food of choice for you.
Pip and Nut Squeeze Pack – Almond Butter.
This squeezable sachet is perfect on the go energy for active sports people. There are two main ingredients to the Pip and Nut butters, roasted nuts and sea salt. Needless to say the squeeze packs are very nutty and easily consumed. This product can be used before, during and after sport as they are a healthy natural source of carbohydrate and protein. On court I found the butters easy to consume event between games at the changeover. It went down easy and there was no need to gargle a drink to get this product down. . If you like gels then the Pip and Nut Squeeze packs are a handy addition to any racket bag.
For Goodness Shakes Recovery Shake
These post training shakes are absolutely delicious and perfect for every racket bag. The FGS shake is a high protein low-fat delicious shake packed with 25g of premium quality whey and casein milk protein rich. It is enriched to contain 20 vitamins and minerals. The shake has Niacin and Pantothenic Acid which help weary tennis players reduce tiredness and fatigue. Taste wise the For Goodness Shakes drinks are great, very drinkable and certaintly not a chore to drink. My chocoholic taste buds loved the chocolate flavour but there is also a strawberry flavour too which was equally nice.
Pulsin Whey Protein Shake
This powder comes in sachet; mix with milk or water and shake and you have a delicious whey protein shake. One sachet produces around 200ml of shake which is thick and creamy. Packed with vitamins and minerals too. If you are looking to lose weight the Pulsin Whey protein is low in fat and has no added sugar. Even at the tennis court it was surprisingly easy to make up and there were no nasty lumps in the drink. The vanilla flavour was very tasty and I was always left wanting more.
Avonmore Protein Milk
What can we say about Avonmore Protein milk. If you like milk in your cereal or in your coffee then Avonmore is worth a try. Why not replace your regular full fat or semi skimmed milk with this Avonmore Protein milk to get a little more protein into your system. We asked our testers to try Avonmore after exercise. It tasted like pure fresh milk. It is very drinkable not thick and creamy. We loved the vanilla and chocolate flavoured milk, both are very very tasty.It is a really easy way to get more protein into your diet. I tried it in my cappuccino and loved it. So this is an affordable protein milk that has many uses.
Grenade Carb Killa Milkshakes.
The Grenade drinks have 25g of protein per bottle. They are designed for those who want to get some more protein ingested without the calories and fat. For tennis players watching their carbohydrate intake the Carb Killa are very tasty. They are thick and creamy. I loved the chocolate mint flavour which was very sweet. The Grenade products almost tasted too good to be good for you and this Carb Killa Shake is so tasty.
Whatever your taste you will find a great tasting recovery product here. I found that the shakes are probably easier to consume on the run than the bars especially at the tennis courts. Nevertheless the bars are really tasty and wholesome . When I had more time I found myself grabbing a coffee and enjoying it with a recovery bar. Both go really well together. It pays to experiment too. With so much choice out there keeping trying until you find something you like. I can be sure there will be at least something in our 2018 review that will tickle your tastebuds and get your recovery kickstarted. Happy Hitting.