2017 US Open Winner Sloane Stephens keeps to a routine to stay healthy while traveling.
She said consistent morning habits like drinking water help her stay focused and perform well.
Stephens said her nutrition plan is to eat mostly healthy with room for some treats.
Former US Open champ Sloane Stephens said simple, healthy habits are key to maintaining a nutritious diet and strong performance with a hectic travel schedule.
Stephens is a veteran of the tennis tournament circuit and winner of the 2017 Open. She had an early exit from the 2023 US Open after a loss to Beatriz Haddad Maia, but has upcoming tournaments in San Diego and Mexico this month.
Years of experience have helped Stephens develop a routine to stay in peak mental and physical shape during tournament season, she told Insider.
"I've been on the tour for half my life at this point, so I've seen and learned a lot about my body and my needs," she said. Here's her daily routine.
A consistent morning routine helps her start off strong and hydrated
The self-care starts first thing in the morning, with a consistent habit of drinking water right away to stay hydrated for the day ahead, according to Stephens. She said she also follows a regular skincare routine.
"Morning routines are crucial for setting the tone of the day and helping me feel grounded no matter where I am in the world," she said.
She focuses on dynamic movement and nutrition
Stephens said that a lot of her training during the season focuses on footwork and dynamic movement, which directly applies to tennis skills and performance.
While on the road, her nutrition focuses on balance, and she aims to eat mostly healthy foods while leaving room for treats.
"I try to focus on eating whole, nutrient dense foods. When on the road, I'm eating out at a restaurant every night, so I try my best to treat it like a part of my job and not like a vacation," Stephens said. "But I also don't deprive myself of tastes of something I love — it's hard for me to walk past a boba place and not get a bubble tea!"
Her match day snack includes caffeine and protein
On the day of a match, Stephens said her schedule can be tough to predict since match times are often announced the night before. However, her typical routine before a match involves a warm-up, an energizing snack with a mix of protein and carbs, and some quiet time to focus before the match begins.
Stephens said her go-to snack and essential gym bag item is Quantum Energy Squares, a brand partner. The bars provide a bit of performance-boosting caffeine along with protein and carbs from dried fruit, nuts and seeds.
"I'll eat one before a workout or match when I need smooth, steady energy - especially if I'm fighting jet lag or fatigue," Stephens said.
She incorporates massage, dry needling, and cupping into her recovery
Stephens said she does a lot of recovery work to keep her body in peak shape. She said she relies on strategies like massage, dry needling, and cupping, which can help relieve aches and improve blood flow to the muscles.
She also travels with a Hypervolt massage gun and NormaTec compression boots to provide support from the comfort of a hotel room.
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