Jacob Osborn

Rafael Nadal’s Tennis Diet & Workout Plan | Man of Many

Because tennis players expel so much energy on the court, it’s absolutely essential that they consume lots of calories and maintain a proper nutrition plan. Rafael Nadal is no exception, though don’t take that to mean he doesn’t like to indulge. On the contrary, he counts rich foods like paella and chocolate as two personal favourites. Acknowledging that these types of dishes aren’t exactly healthy, he once claimed, “You eat paella every day, you cannot play tennis.”

Rafael Nadal’s Diet Plan

  • Fresh bread – When free of harmful preservatives, fresh-baked bread can be fairly healthy. Plus, tennis players can always use carbohydrates, which store energy for extended periods of time.
  • Olive oil – Rich in antioxidants and monosaturated (i.e. “good”) fat, olive oil is also quite tasty.
  • Iberian ham – Ham is so ubiquitous in Spain that there might as well be a pig on the national flag.
  • Orange juice – Why take a pill when you can get a day’s worth of Vitamin C from a delicious glass of fresh-squeezed OJ?
  • Breakfast

  • Fish – Rafa’s love of seafood knows no boundaries.
  • Meat – When he feels like mixing things up for lunch, he opts for meat in lieu of fish. There’s always dinner, after all.
  • Olives – To quote Rafa directly: “I love eating olives. They’re healthy, but maybe not if you eat as much as me.”
  • Fresh veggies – After winning a match, the tennis star once hit up the grocery store and posted the pics to Instagram. In his hands were two containers of leafy greens.
  • Lunch

  • Sports beverages – Electrolytes, anyone?
  • Water – Well, duh.
  • During Match Play

  • Protein shake – After a match, Rafa chugs down a protein shake to aid with muscle recovery.
  • Filtered seawater – Supposedly, this helps the body recover essential nutrients. Given how much sweat is involved in an average tennis match, it’s also safe to assume that Rafa could use the salt.
  • Post Match

  • Paella – When he feels like indulging, Rafa chows down on seafood paella, especially when it’s his mother’s version.
  • Shrimp dumplings – A fan of Chinese food, he once told the Australian press that he loves shrimp dumplings, in particular.
  • Chocolate – Next to seafood, chocolate is one of his favorite foods. We’ll just assume he eats it in moderation.
  • Cocktail – As a former Bacardi brand ambassador, Rafa is no stranger to cocktails. That said, he probably saves them for the off-season.
  • Dinner

    When it comes to training, Rafael Nadal reportedly sticks to a tried-and-true fitness regimen. That means getting busy with the weights during the off-season and then focusing on tennis-related exercises once the regular season starts up. Naturally, there’s plenty of stretching involved no matter what the time of year or type of workout.

    Rafael Nadal’s Workout Plan

    Tennis players like Rafa spend up to four hours practicing per day during the season, hitting the court after breakfast and not leaving until early afternoon. During practice, he’s performing various tennis-related exercises, including short sprints, footwork drills, racket swings, and ball drills.


    As if four hours of tennis practice weren’t enough, Rafa heads to the gym for more exercise. During the pre-season, he gets busy with the weights. During the regular season, he works on strengthening his core by way of various resources and routines. That includes the following:

    Gym Workout

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