Rafael Nadal’s tennis diet and exercise regime, as well as his determination and passion for the game, is what helps him get back after injuries and setbacks. Whether it means shopping for seafood or working out with weights, Rafa likes to stay active all year round, making him one of the best tennis players in history.
Because tennis players need such an incredible amount of strength and stamina on the court, professionals need to consume a lot of calories and maintain a proper nutritional plan. Rafael Nadal is no exception, though don’t take that to mean he doesn’t like to indulge.
His personal favorites include chocolate and his mom’s rich seafood paella. Acknowledging that these types of dishes aren’t exactly healthy, he once admitted, “You eat paella every day, you cannot play tennis”.
However, a consistent item on Rafael’s daily menu, is still seafood. He loves seafood – from fish to shrimp dumplings, and eats it almost every day. “Always seafood,” he was once quoted as saying when asked about his diet.
He’s also a huge fan of olives. He eats meat when he feels like it, actively dislikes cheese, and presumably loads up on fruits and veggies when given the chance. On court, Nadal stays hydrated by drinking a lot of water and hypotonic beverages.
After a brutal match, he drinks filtered seawater to recover, according to his doctor. Reportedly, it’s a good way to get important minerals back into the body. He also enjoys protein shakes as they assist with muscle regeneration.
Off court he enjoys the occasional alcoholic beverage. He was a Bacardi brand ambassador, after all. As Nadal likes to post his meals on Instagram on occasion, it is easy to get a general overview of his diet. For breakfast he enjoys fresh bread with olive oil, Iberian ham and orange juice.
Lucky for him, carbohydrates stores energy for extended periods of time, which is something tennis players need a lot of. Lunch often consists of fish (obviously!), olives and fresh vegetables. To quote Rafa directly: “I love eating olives.
They’re healthy, but maybe not if you eat as much as me”. When he wants to mix it up, he might have meat. When he feels like indulging, Nadal will enjoy a rich seafood paella. Another favorite dinner meal is shrimp dumplings.
A fan of Chinese food, he once told the Australian press that he loves shrimp dumplings, in particular. As it is his other love, Nadal might have chocolate for dessert.
Rafael Nadal’s Workout Plan
It’s also worth noting that Rafael’s been genetically gifted with plenty of natural strength, talent, flexibility, stamina, and speed.
This, paired with a strict training regimen, is key to his court success. When it comes to training, Rafael Nadal reportedly sticks to weights during the off-season and focusing on tennis-related exercises once the regular season starts up.
Given his recent injuries, some exercises might have changed this year, but odds are he takes a relatively consistent approach from one season to the next. Professional tennis players like Nadal spend on average around four hours a day practicing during the season, performing various tennis-related exercises, including short sprints, footwork drills, racket swings, and ball drills.
On top of that, Nadal also heads to the gym on a regular basis. During the pre-season, he usually exercises with weights. During the season, he works on strengthening his core by way of various resources and routines that includes power plate, resistance bands, core body workout and stretching.
Because tennis is a full-body workout that requires an almost extreme amount of strength and stamina, pro’s like Rafael Nadal has to do the work off court, to hit the big ones on court.