The U.S. Open tennis champion doesn’t put restrictions on herself and tries to “eat more of what makes me energized”

By Julie Mazziotta
February 21, 2020 10:26 AM
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As a champion tennis player, Sloane Stephens needs her food to work just as hard as she does — to keep her energized through grueling workouts and matches.

The WTA player and 2017 U.S. Open champ, 26, has learned to seek out foods that give her a boost on the court.

“I think as I’ve gotten older, I’ve been more aware of how specific foods make me feel, so I try to listen to my body,” she tells PEOPLE. “I eat more of what makes me energized and less of what makes me lethargic.”

By listening to her body, Stephens also doesn’t restrict herself from foods, and says she isn’t a fan of dieting.

“If I tell myself I can’t have something, I want it more,” she says. “So I’m more about being very aware of what I’m eating and just nothing in excess.”

That also lets her enjoy her favorite foods, like “Korean barbeque, sushi and Indian food,” and her own baked goods.

“Not to brag, but my pies at Thanksgiving are always a hit,” she says.

Read on for a glimpse into one day of Stephen’s food diary, and for more, pick up this week’s issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.

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Breakfast

1 cup of Greek yogurt with ¼ cup of granola

Bowl of fresh fruit

Snack

Quantum Energy Square in coconut almond chip (Stephens is a spokesperson)

Lunch

Mixed-green salad with grilled chicken and 1 avocado

Post-Workout Snack

12 oz. of chocolate milk

Dinner

6 oz. teriyaki salmon

¾ cup of white rice

1½ cups of broccoli

Hydration

50 to 60 oz. of water

Total Calories:

1,605

The Verdict:

“Sloane takes a balanced approach to eating with plenty of healthy fats and protein,” says Atlanta-based dietitian Marisa Moore. Stephen’s protein-packed day starts with her Greek yogurt for breakfast and continues through lunch and dinner. Her lunchtime salad has “plenty of protein, creamy healthy fats from the avocado and veggies.” And the salmon, rice and broccoli at dinner is “a well-balanced meal that will help her get through the evening feeling satisfied, yet light enough that it won’t interfere with sleep.” Plus, her chocolate milk snack is an excellent post-practice boost, says Moore: “Chocolate milk delivers a dose of both carbs and protein to help replenish glucose and refuel her muscles after a workout.”

NOTE: It is recommended that women eat around 1,600 to 2,400 calories per day, and men eat between 2,000 and 3,000 calories per day.