Tennis is a physically grueling sport. Each point has several explosive swings and sprints with only brief periods of recovery. And for a pro tennis player, this could go on for over five hours—the longest match was over 11 hours.
So beyond extensive conditioning, tennis players need to be on top of their nutrition during a match or else they run the risk of premature fatigue or cramping.
"I would need to eat a lot just to keep weight on, otherwise I would lose so much weight during tournaments and practices," says James Blake, former pro tennis player who reached a ranking of No. 4 in the world.
That's why you see tennis players eating quick snacks when they switch sides on the court or between sets.
But the nutrition options available when he was on the tour didn't do the job for Blake, who is a self-proclaimed slow eater. He opted for sports drinks and bananas, but he would have preferred something more substantial, something that provided sustained energy. He just didn't care for the products that were available at the time.
"It was tough to find bars that were not too dry, and I'd only be able to have one bite during the changeover because I eat kind of slowly," he says. "To get enough nutrients in while I was on the court was tough," he says.
Recently, Blake has partnered with ArrowBar, a new product on the market that addresses many of these concerns.
In Cinnamon Honey and Chocolate Chip flavors, ArrowBars feature minimal, high-quality ingredients. The 200-calorie bars taste great and don't have the dry texture that's associated with many nutrition bars that have added protein.
"The proof was in the pudding once I got to try it and taste it and see how it worked when I was playing and how it worked. Unfortunately it was after I was done on tour," Blake says.
Although Blake is no longer on the pro tennis tour, he still is very active. He recently ran a marathon, and he competes in the Champions Tour against former tennis greats such as Andy Roddick and John McEnroe.
"Probably the biggest thing is that [the ArrowBar] is not as dry," he says. "I feel like I'm getting enough in on a changeover, because it's not so chalky and I can actually stomach it. So it helps me to feel fueled throughout the match."
Other tennis players—including John Isner, Stevie Johnson and Michael Russell—have started eating ArrowBars to satisfy their fueling needs during a match.
ArrowBars are gluten-free, which is a gamechanger for Blake. His daughter has celiac disease, so he maintains a gluten-free home. However, his entire family can snack on Arrow Bars throughout the day without concern.
"It's filling a void in the bar industry," he says. "It's a gluten-free, healthy bar that gets you through a match or game or whatever your playing while tasting good," he adds.
Check out ArrowBar.com for more info.
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