Fridge Raider: Discovering tennis star Caroline Wozniacki's unique diet
Just a year ago, in order to fuel her body and balance out long cardio sessions in preparation for the 2014 New York City Marathon, Caroline Wozniacki added extra carbohydrates, ice cream and cake into her diet.
This year, the World No. 11 isn’t running any races, but she still doesn’t shy away from sweets as she completes the final stretch of the 2015 WTA season.
“No marathons this year, not right now. This year I’m just going to relax,” the 25-year-old says. “At this point in the season you just try to mentally keep going for a month and a half, and then once it’s fully over you do nothing for a few weeks.”
As the WTA Finals in Singapore near at the end of October, Wozniacki is making a final push to qualify for the year-end championships. The lengthy tennis season and frequent travel make it difficult to keep a fully stocked refrigerator, but Wozniacki has found a way to fit her nutrition needs into her itinerant schedule throughout the year.
“Because I’ve traveled so much, I’m used to adapting,” says Wozniacki, who doesn’t follow any specific diets. “I eat pretty healthy—fruits, vegetables, white meat protein and some rice or pasta.”
But whether it’s in her New York City apartment kitchen or a small mini-fridge in a hotel room at a tournament, Wozniacki makes sure to keep one item readily available.
“Ice cream—there’s always some kind of ice cream in my freezer,” she says.
Wozniacki learned how to bake from her grandmother and prefers to cook up sweets instead of savory meals in the kitchen. “Cookies, chocolate cake, carrot cake, triple chocolate muffins—anything really, I like a challenge,” she says. “As an athlete, we have to make sure our bodies have the right fuel, because that’s what keeps us going. But we workout so much, so I need some sugar sometimes!”
Vitamins: Yes, Wozniacki stores her daily dose in the fridge. “I’m not sure why my vitamins are in the fridge, but they are!” she says. Because Wozniacki doesn’t eat seafood—“I’ve gotten sick a few times so I don’t eat it”—she makes sure to take a fish oil supplement to supply her body with essential fatty acids (EFAs). She uses supplements from her sponsor USANA, which is also the official health supplier of the WTA.
“I take multi-vitamins just in case I’m not getting the right foods, especially when I’m traveling so much,” she says.
Brunch foods: During her carb-loading days before the marathon, Wozniacki indulged in pancakes with syrup and fruit, her favorite breakfast food. Though she still enjoys flapjacks on off-days, she typically keeps her pre-match or morning meal light and simple.
“Brunch is one of my favorite meals of the day—sometimes I’m good and sometimes I pretend to be healthy,” says Wozniacki, who also keeps gluten-free waffles as a staple. “Most of the time I’ll have eggs, a bagel, some fruit or yogurt for breakfast.”
Greens and proteins: When she’s in NYC at her Union Square apartment, Wozniacki says she likes to eat out at restaurants for dinner, but the Dane still keeps it healthy. “I love [restaurant] STK—I get a good steak, broccoli and mashed potatoes—or just grilled chicken breast with rice and veggies at other places.”
Broccoli, corn and peas are her top vegetable choices (she dislikes tomatoes but will try any other kind of produce) and she usually adds in a protein and carb for a pre-match meal. “I was really bad at eating veggies when I was younger, but now I try to eat them as much as I can, especially before big matches,” she says. “I just try to make sure I have enough energy, but I’m not superstitious or anything like that."