Aussie Isabella Bozicevic, affectionately known as the pink assassin, has been making waves down-under in tennis circles and is being touted as the future of the women’s game in Australia. Already the #1 in her age group, seventeen year old Isabella competes on the Pro Tour.
We got a few moments with Isabella to find out how she fuels herself as a pro athlete…
In the weeks before a major competition like the Olympics, a lot of athletes have said they’ll it healthy, then 48 hours out from a race/comp will just eat whatever as its all about energy and calories at that point: the night before you compete, what are you eating? “For me and the sport I play its not just 48 hours before its more consistent then that, I like to try to always eat healthy, that way you are able to train harder and longer and even better, because you have the right nutrients in your body, and if you train better you get better. This doesn’t change especially when a tournament comes up if anything I try to eat even healthier. So when the tournaments come up I feel like I have done the best I can for myself and my body. But what I eat is such things as good carbs like sweet potato, pumpkin and brown rice, with any protein, and lots of greens. This is before after and during a competition”.
So, on the morning of a game, what sort of meals or food do you go for, if you eat at all? “Yes!! I do eat before a game lots as well. At the moment I have been changing it up, so I will either have eggs with a veggie mix, or I will have an omelette with veggies and I might put in some cheese, or one of my favourites I will have overnight oats, and I’ll add in some nuts cinnamon honey, fruit, this one is so delicious. So its really whatever I feel like in morning, but if I am playing somewhere really hot like Thailand, I will add in lots of fruits, to get the natural sugars for hydration and maintain energy, plus its so refreshing”.
Then after a game can you whatever you want? “NO! I like to put in something nutritious especially if you win, so you can feed the muscles nutrients and get your body recovered in the best way possible ready for the next round or for the next training session”.
Does your diet change much in the Off season or are you fairly consistent throughout the year? “I don’t really call the way I eat a diet, cause I enjoy eating that way and it is good for my body, so no it doesn’t change I stay pretty consistent all the time, also another reason is because I train everyday so eating healthy is allowing me to train at my peak”.
How important is hydration to an athlete at your level? “I think to any athlete hydration is very important, to me especially cause I sweat so much and train so much I need to replace it, i used to be really bad with drinking water mainly during the day but I have gotten better, I try to drink up to 4l a day now”.
A lot of athletes have spoken about how important sleep is to recovery, do you find the same? “Yes I do, sleep allows your body to recover but also I’m not the person to wake up at 9am, I get up early for training so I like to get to sleep early around 9-9:30 so I can allow my body to get the rest it needs”.
What recipes do you rely on the most at home? “Well my mum does a lot of the cooking at home especially in the recipe department. She makes these amazing zucchini and corn fritters that I eat way to much of, but its okay as they are super healthy, and she makes protein balls, and lots of healthy meals so I am never without. I enjoy everything she makes and I like to help her out too”.
What is your cheat meal? “I will have a cheat meal on my day off which is usually a Sunday unless I have a tournament then it changes, my favourite cheat meals are definetely something sweet like pancakes with nutella, or sometimes I will have churros. It really depends what I feel like. I love burgers on my day off also. I have the biggest sweet tooth for anything chocolate, but my main day off go to is definetley ice cream and chocolate, I love them so much. I really could go on I love everything. But anything I have been craving I will have on my day off”.
What are your thoughts on protein shakes and energy gels? Do you rely on them at all? “Protein shakes definetley yes! I have a protein shake once a day especially just after a workout to feed the muscles and help them grow and recover, but I can say I have never had an energy gel before and I don’t really plan on having one any time soon. Instead I just have a banana and I eat well enough to have energy on the court, and if I do need a little more of a boost I will have a kanguru which is a herb based energy drink with zero sugar, this gets me going and I don’t get an energy crash with it because its natural”.
So, is there anything you actively avoid cause it is bad for you or you don’t like it? “I definitely avoid all sugary soft drinks and I don’t like celery”.