Tennis star Coco Gauff said she always eats the same pasta before a big match or tournament.
Gauff loves penne with chicken, spinach, Parmesan, and tomato sauce.
But she never eats mushrooms with her pre-match pasta — it's her one superstition.
Coco Gauff has had the same pre-match pasta ritual for years, but now there's one ingredient she always skips before a big match or tournament.
Gauff recently sat down with Insider to discuss her partnership with Barilla ahead of the US Open, and she revealed that she always eats pasta before hitting the court.
The 19-year-old tennis star's pre-match pasta always features penne, along with chicken, spinach, tomato sauce, and Parmesan cheese. She said she opts for penne pasta because it's the easiest to eat — and the safest when it comes to keeping her match clothes clean and sauce-free.
Sometimes Gauff switches things up and swaps the tomato sauce with pesto, but she no longer adds mushrooms to her pasta before a big match.
Gauff said that after a series of disappointing tournaments, she knew she had to change something.
"I do love mushrooms in pasta, I just don't eat them pre-match," she said.
"They make my stomach kind of hurt a little bit, but also, I don't know if it's just in my head too sometimes," she added with a laugh. "I'm usually not superstitious — just with that."
When Gauff is preparing for a big match, she also tries not to consume too much dairy.
"But I cannot give up cheese," she added. "I love cheese."
Gauff said she also avoids eating red meat right before a match, which is why she sticks to chicken with her pasta. But after the game, she always loves celebrating with a burger, fries, and Diet Coke.
"Post-match it's good, but right before, it can get a little heavy," she said. "It's weird prepping for matches — you want enough fuel, but not too much that you feel heavy."
Gauff has partnered with Barilla since she was 15. This year, they'll be giving away pasta meal kits and grocery delivery gift cards at BarillaServingLove.com from August 23 to 30 while she competes at the US Open.
Read the original article on Insider