The competitive tennis season also is held during the warmer months where a high heat index and hot court surfaces are common environments. These conditions make tennis players targets for dehydration and heat illness.
The tennis training diet should be focused on high-energy foods and adequate hydration, timed appropriately before and after multiple competitions. The following guidelines help develop successful nutrition and hydration practices for players.
Pre-Match Eating and Hydration GuidelinesTennis players need to pay special attention to their pre-match meals and beverage choices, as these foods and fluids may need to last for hours during tournament and multiple match play.
Teach players to select pre-match meals and snacks that are:
? Familiar to them and known to settle hunger
? High in carbohydrates to supply energy for muscle reserves, moderate in protein and low in fat
? Quickly digested (not too high in fiber or fat)
Examples of pre-match meals and snacks rich in carbohydrates are pasta, bread, fresh fruit, granola bars, energy bars and sports drinks.
LUNCH (3-4 hours prior to competition)
Turkey or grilled chicken sandwich with mustard
1 cup of skim milk
8 oz. serving of Powerade
PRE-GAME SNACK (1-2 hours prior to competition)
Fruit yogurt or banana
1 cup of water
1 Gatorade energy bar
20 oz. Powerade thirst quencher
Hydration tips before players hit the court:
? Limit/avoid caffeinated beverages (iced teas, coffee, colas) especially right before and after match play. These may cause additional fluid loss as urine.
? The night before, fill and chill squeeze bottles or sports jugs and bring to each practice or match. Each player should have a minimum of 2 liters available courtside.
? Consume enough fluids throughout the day so urine is a light or pale yellow color before starting a match.
? Drink 17 to 20 oz. of fluid within 2 hours pre-match.