US Open star Madison Keys on eating more calories and taking supplements

  • US tennis player Madison Keys recently won a Cincinnati championship and competed in the US Open.
  • Keys said her diet and recovery during competition season included simple, high-protein meals.
  • The tennis star also shared the supplements she takes, including turmeric and iron.

American tennis star Madison Keys, who was eliminated early from the US Open, is already gearing up for a tough schedule of competition next year.

The 27-year-old Illinois native won her first Cincinnati Open championship — one of the biggest tennis tournaments in the United States — ahead of her run at the US Open. Key lost to compatriot Coco Gauff in the third round of the US Open earlier this month.

Although the world of sports is full of cutting-edge health and wellness innovations millions of dollars, Keys says her preparation doesn’t involve fancy recovery technology and a strict diet. She told Insider that she relied on a high-protein diet and compression boots to get her through her matches.

This is what the nutrition and wellness routine looks like for a US Open athlete.

Eggs, toast and chicken on game days

On the day of a midday game, Keys fuels up beforehand with a hearty breakfast and lunch.

For breakfast she has eggs on toast with avocado and sometimes a side of potatoes. For lunch there is chicken with noodles or rice. After the game, she will eat more carbs and protein to aid in her recovery.

Keys, which has a brand partnership with the dietary supplement manufacturer Mandrel, also has one chocolate whey protein shake to support muscle regeneration between grueling matches against the best in the tennis world. In the off-season, she drinks at least one protein shake every day.

She has a simple wellness routine consisting of certain supplements and compression boots

The wellness industry is bloating into one Trillion Dollar Giantand athletes – who are professionally committed to staying in perfect health – are key to that growth.

Today, most professional athletes have some attachment to a wellness product, from the lowest rank to the superstars. Lebron James spends over a million dollars on biotechnology such as cryogenic and hyperbaric chambers. Tom Brady sold Infrared pajamas. Aaron Rodgers has touted the benefits “cleanses” with roots in ancient medical systems (which experts say he done wrong).

Keys has teamed up with Thorne, though she says she keeps her wellness routine simple and takes supplements like omega-3, iron, the antioxidant glutathione, and turmeric. Keys is also taking vitamin D due to a medically diagnosed deficiency.

For most non-athletes, food is a balanced nutrition is the best way to get the right amount of nutrients, nutrition experts told Insider — although people with diagnosed deficiencies could benefit from using supplements.

It may be slightly different for athletes (although research is lacking). writing in British Journal of Medicinethe International Olympic Committee — the best source for guidelines for Elite Athletes – recommends that elite athletes work with an informed sports nutritionist to determine which supplements could benefit their bodies.

The supplement industry is also unregulated, which means that supplement manufacturers are not required to test for efficacy (Thorne’s products are certified with the National Science Foundation.)

Keys will be upping her calories during the off-season as she prepares for next year’s competition

The US Open is over, but professional tennis players like Keys usually compete by November. Tennis has one of the shortest off-season among professional sports, with US competitions beginning in the spring.

The off-season lasts between September and February, when athletes compete only in US tournaments, but international competitions take place every month except December, the Association of Tennis Professionals.

Keys said she usually has to eat more because her training is more intense during those six to eight weeks. She’s adding an extra protein shake to her diet and upping her calories while mostly eating the same foods.

Keys said she doesn’t watch what she eats or count her calories — she would never go on a “super strict, crazy diet.”

“I think a lot of people think that athletes are constantly concerned about their weight and their looks, and it has so much more to do with providing my muscles with the nutrients they need to be strong and fit recovering and being able to recharge my batteries for the physical activity that I do every day,” she said.

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