What Anna Kournikova Eats In A Day

Anna Kournikova is passionate about health — and she has the background to prove it. As the Russian athlete revealed on The Graham Norton Show, she started playing six hours of tennis per day when she was just 5 years old. By the age of 14, she was playing in professional tournaments. According to the WTA, by the year 2000, Kournikova was ranked as one of the 10 best women's tennis players in the world.

Looking back on this time, Kournikova remembers gleaning tons of information about healthy eating. As she told Women's Health, "Being a professional athlete my whole life, I've learned so much about nutrition and exercise and working out and keeping in shape. And [I] really wanted to share all that knowledge and experience that I've gained over all these years traveling around the world and working with the best nutritionists ... with the best coaches."

Following the end of her WTA career in 2003 (per WTA), Kournikova dedicated herself to educating people about the importance of nutrition. CBS reports that Kournikova served as a celebrity coach for the hit weight loss reality series "The Biggest Loser." She also joined forces with the nonprofit organization "Got Breakfast?" to promote healthy eating among students. In an interview with South Florida media group Brockzilla Productions, Kournikova expressed: "The body is like a machine. You have to ... refuel and really nurture your body." 

Anna Kournikova doesn't skip breakfast

It's no secret that Anna Kournikova believes in starting her day strong. On The Lorraine Show (per Page Six), Kournikova's long-term partner Enrique Iglesias once joked that the couple enjoys time between the sheets in lieu of a morning meal. "That's exactly what I do for breakfast," the singer famously exclaimed. However, despite Iglesias' wisecracks, Kournikova's morning routine involves way more than just ... physical activity. She says breakfast plays an important role when it comes to pursuing a healthy lifestyle. 

In an interview with NBC, Kournikova revealed her opinion that good nutrition starts in the morning. When asked what people can do to start improving their nutrition, the tennis powerhouse replied: "Everything starts from breakfast." 

Through her partnership with the nonprofit organization "Got Breakfast?", Kournikova has encouraged school-aged children to start their day right. In a 2007 speech at the foundation's awards ceremony, the Russian athlete expressed her belief that eating breakfast can sharpen one's mental state: "I am a firm believer that the first step to improving well-being is with good nutrition[.] ... When millions of students across the country are not taking part in breakfast, they are missing out on the opportunity to perform their best at school."

She believes in eating a variety of foods

Anna Kournikova might be passionate about health, but she isn't exactly religious when it comes to following a specific diet. Rather than sticking to a strict meal regimen, the tennis star enjoys a variety of foods. In a 2011 interview with Elle, Kournikova said she doesn't adhere to just one food group. "I definitely do love sweets. And salty stuff," she told the outlet. 

Ultimately, Kournikova aims to strike a sense of balance when it comes to enjoying different foods. As the Russian athlete told Maria Menounos on Extra, she doesn't believe in controlling every single bite that goes into one's mouth. "I definitely do believe in everything in moderation," Kournikova explained. "I think the more you restrict, the more you'll want something. And then you'll overdo it. So, I definitely believe in moderation and balance."

Although Kournikova has supported several different foods in her adult life, she wasn't able to enjoy such balanced meals throughout her childhood. Since she was born in the Soviet Union, Kournikova was raised in an environment that lacked many types of fruits. In 2009, she opened up about her childhood on "The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon." "[W]hen I was 9 years old ... I came to Florida, and I saw bananas." According to Kournikova, bananas were rare in Russia at the time. Seeing the fruit stateside made her feel like "a kid in a candy store."

Anna enjoys several small meals throughout the day

While Anna Kournikova is a huge fan of breakfast, she isn't equally enamored with the rest of the meals. In fact, the retired athlete has confessed that she isn't prone to eating three big meals per day. As she divulged in a 2011 conversation with Elle, "I find that it's important to eat smaller meals often." 

According to Kournikova, the goal of these smaller meals is getting as many benefits from the food as possible. In an interview with Women's Health, she opened up about what she hopes to gain from her diet. "[My food choices have] been really about energy, maintaining good energy. I still lead a very, very active lifestyle, so it's still been about really healthy nutrition," the star athlete said, adding that this mindset isn't exactly new for her. "Being a professional tennis player for most of my life, you know, I really had to use my body as my tool and food and nutrition as fuel to be able to perform," she told the outlet.

Perhaps because of this focus on energy, Kournikova says her favorite snacks are packed with healthy fats. "My favorite healthy snack on the go would be string cheese or almonds," she told Women's Health. She also revealed a penchant for pizza, albeit one that includes complex carbs: "My favorite guilty pleasure food is probably whole-wheat pizza, [or] some kind of carb."

The tennis star isn't afraid to enjoy carbs

It's safe to say that carbohydrates don't have the best reputation among celebrities. Megan Fox once told E! News that she doesn't eat any kind of carb, which for her means: "[n]o crackers, no pretzels, no chips." Similarly, Gwyneth Paltrow's cookbook "It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great" (via USA Today) famously refers to time periods when her "family is not eating pasta, bread, or processed grains."

Anna Kournikova wants absolutely none of that anti-carb talk. In an interview with Elle, the Russian athlete had no problem sharing her love for starches and grains. "I love carbs, potatoes, and pasta," she told the outlet. And the tennis player's favorite carbohydrate-based eats don't stop there. As she revealed on Extra, "I love pizza. I love chocolate. And, you know, it's the portion ... It's not about something specific [that makes your lifestyle healthy or not] ... But I definitely like french fries."

While celebrity culture has a tendency to demonize carbohydrates, Kournikova views carbs as an essential part of her diet. In a conversation with Reader's Digest (via Beef Magazine), Kournikova explained that the food group gives her the energy she needs on the court. "When it comes to food following an intense workout, [I need to eat] all the carbohydrate choices, like bananas, oranges, or whole-wheat pasta if I need more fuel to keep going," she said.

Anna Kournikova doesn't believe in guilt after eating

Although Anna Kournikova has used the phrase "guilty pleasure" in the past, she doesn't particularly like the term. The tennis player doesn't think people should feel bad for simply enjoying food. During a 2011 segment of Extra, Maria Menounos asked Kournikova: "So, what's your guilty pleasure?" The tennis star replied without missing a beat: "I don't think pleasures are guilty." 

According to Kournikova's opinion, pleasures should be, well, pleasurable. "That's why it's, like, a pleasure. You should enjoy it. You shouldn't be guilty about it," she elaborated in the same interview. Because of this food-positive philosophy, Kournikova doesn't think people should resist the occasional indulgence. When Maria Menounos asked the tennis player, "What happens when you want a Snickers bar?" (via Extra), Kournikova responded candidly. "You can have a Snickers [bar]," she told the journalist. "I believe in moderation." 

In Kournikova's personal life, these occasional indulgences manifest in the form of sweet treats. And restrictive eating isn't a practice that Kournikova attempts or supports. "I will have a little piece of chocolate every day, or every other day," she divulged in an interview with Elle. "Being 'good' [at sticking to a diet] all the time is not realistic." In Kournikova's view, there's nothing wrong with simply enjoying food.

She recommends eating whole foods

While Anna Kournikova supports the occasional indulgence, she also hopes people will start eating healthier. For the professional athlete, however, "eating healthy" doesn't mean forgoing a certain food group, but trying to fuel one's body with natural ingredients. In a 2011 interview with NBC, the star athlete explained which foods she finds best for nurturing one's body. "[F]or nutrition ... It's eating healthier, whole foods and not as much processed foods," she told the outlet.

In practice, Kournikova tries to follow this philosophy by making healthy foods available to herself throughout the day. As she told Spry Living, "I usually take yogurt, fruit, peanut butter, or hummus with me when I know I'm going to have a busy day. It allows me to have a healthy snack and not just grab something on the run." According to the tennis star, though, eating more whole foods doesn't mean avoiding pleasure. "I also try to eat more fresh whole and unprocessed foods ... [I]f I know I'm going to have pizza for dinner, I fill up on veggies and protein during the day," she elaborated.

Kournikova's penchant for whole foods doesn't just apply to snack time. For her post-workout meals, the sports star enjoys heavier foods like meat and avocados. As she revealed in a conversation with Reader's Digest (via Beef Magazine), "I love a juicy cheeseburger with sweet potato fries, or guacamole and whole-wheat tortilla chips."

Anna believes eating well and exercise should be part of daily life

Anna Kournikova had an intense childhood, characterized by hours of exercise and lots of pressure to perform. As her former coach Nick Bollettieri shared in the documentary "Tennis Athlete," her younger years were about eating and exercising. "You play, you eat, you go home with mama," Bollettieri said. Despite having endured such a strict regimen, Kournikova doesn't believe this kind of intensity is necessary, or even constructive. On an episode of The Graham Norton Show, the tennis star even declared, "Looking back at [my childhood] now, I mean, I would never do that to my kid."

Perhaps because of this, Kournikova has tried to adopt a more balanced approach to healthy living. In her NBC interview, the athlete advises people to improve their daily routines one step at a time. "It's making those small changes every single day, very basic, simple things," she shared. "It's all really about getting outside, walking, running, playing with [a] ball."

As Kournikova expressed on Extra, she hopes people will view healthy foods as a natural part of their lives. "[Eating well] is 'another job' in the beginning, [while] you're getting educated about it. But then, it becomes part of you, part of your routine. And it's the same thing for exercise," she explained. For Kournikova, working out doesn't have to be complicated: "You don't even have to run. Like, I walk on the treadmill."

Anna Kournikova enjoys the occasional drink

Anna Kournikova is outspoken about the importance of the occasional indulgence. In terms of food, the sports professional has confessed to having a bit of a sweet tooth. According to her interview with Elle, Kournikova can certainly enjoy a good dessert. "I definitely do love sweets. And salty stuff. I love chocolate. I love ice cream," she told the outlet. 

However, Kournikova's favorite indulgences aren't just limited to sugary treats. The Russian blonde has also been known to enjoy the occasional alcoholic beverage. In 2018, just a few days shy of her twins' first birthday, Kournikova was photographed in the Costco parking lot with a cart full of booze (per TMZ). The photos show the tennis player hauling several bottles of vodka and champagne. As for her liquor brands of choice, Kournikova opted for six bottles of Ketel One vodka, in addition to four bottles of Grey Goose. 

That wasn't the first time the tennis star has revealed her taste for something stronger. In 2020, Kournikova took to Instagram to share a rare glimpse into her Miami home. The photograph revealed her kitchen, which included an enormous wine fridge. The appliance itself boasted 15 shelves packed with bottles of chilled vino. However, as per usual, Kournikova's post hinted at a sense of balance. In the background of the photo is a bowl of colorful fruits and veggies.

She prefers home-cooked meals to restaurants

Some celebs love dining out, but Anna Kournikova would rather stay at home. Thanks to her career, she spends a lot of her time traveling. Because of this, when she finally gets the chance to be in her Miami home, Kournikova says she would rather eat something homemade. As the tennis player told Elle, "Whenever I'm home, I try to cook myself." She then went on to bemoan the challenges of eating nutritious foods on the road: "It's definitely hard [to eat well] when you are traveling or in hotels, or on the road, or on the set of a TV show." 

It may not be easy for Kournikova to eat healthy when she's away from home, but the tennis star manages just the same. "[T]here are ways [to stay healthy while traveling]. You just have to be creative," she told Elle. For Kournikova, this "creativity" at restaurants occasionally means ordering as many nutrient-packed power foods as possible. According to Fox News, on one occasion in 2015, the Russian athlete joined her family and friends for one of her infamous "mini meals" at the Kobe Club in Miami. Her order consisted of steamed veggies, a tomato and onion salad, black coffee, and fruit. While this lunchtime bite might not sound particularly appetizing, Kournikova indulged in a glass of Rosé for dessert.

Anna Kournikova wants to set a good example for children

Anna Kournikova knows that her fame gave her a platform to do good. Over the years, she has dedicated herself to helping children learn more about healthy living. Through her participation in the "Got Breakfast?" campaign, Kournikova fought to make healthy breakfasts available to children at schools across the country. Meanwhile, through her partnership with the Boys and Girls Clubs of America, she aimed to help children develop an interest in sports, as reported by Fox Business

In a 2011 conversation with SunSentinel, Kournikova opened up about her desire to teach kids how to be healthier. "When I stopped playing full-time tennis at 21, I was playing with kids still at charity events and clubs. That's what I do. I can't imagine my life being without sports," she explained. Because of her passion for tennis, Kournikova has worked hard to expose children to the joys of sports. As she stated in the same interview, "I've worked with the Boys & Girls Clubs for a long time, getting kids into physical activities." 

However, while Kournikova wants to inspire kids to enjoy sports and healthy foods, she doesn't want them to focus too much on their body image. "Exercise gives me great energy. It's about being healthy, having energy, [parents] spending quality time with children ... It's not about a certain size. Everybody is different. As long as you're healthy, that's most important," she told SunSentinel.