All you need to know about sports nutrition in tennis
During the short breaks after the sets you can see cracks like Roger Federer eating half a banana and or having a drink from time to time. Does a tennis athlete need specific sports nutrition and if so, what do you need to know?
Short breaks on the court
Numerous, but short breaks during sets mean that sports nutrition in tennis has to meet special needs: Sports nutrition must not only be consumable quickly, but must also be as tolerable as possible. So if you see tennis stars eating half a (ripe) banana during the sets, there is nothing wrong with that. For a match lasting several hours, however, this snack is definitely not enough.
Tennis players can therefore rely on liquid energy from the tube, for example with a LIQUID ENERGY GEL (with or without caffeine), a high-quality, carbohydrate sports drink such as COMPETITION, LONG ENERGY or ISOTONIC or a few bites of a HIGH ENERGY BAR. In search of a noticeable caffeine kick that reawakens motivation and concentration, we recommend an ACTIVATOR ampoule or a few POWER GUMS out of the bag. The previous and regular use of MENTAL FOCUS can offer clear advantages in terms of cognitive performance both in technical training and in competition.
Indoor or outdoor
From a nutritional point of view, it makes no difference whether a tennis match is played indoor or outdoor on sand, grass or hart court. However, the climatic conditions can vary significantly and thus have a corresponding influence. Temperature and humidity are central parameters that must be taken into account when eating on the tennis court. In the cold and in low humidity, nutrition has primarily to cover the energy demands of an athlete. In the heat or in great humidity the body needs considerably more liquid. If matches over three, four or sometimes five sets including tie-break are expected, a carboloading two days before the competition is recommended. If the heat on the court is high, a previous soda loading with LACTAT BUFFER can be very useful. Players with a high sweat rate and a tendency to cramp additionally use SALT CAPS or MUSCLE RELAX shots.
Regeneration during tournaments
In tennis tournaments lasting several days or even two weeks, regeneration plays an important role. The recommendations are therefore: Regular carboloading with CARBO LOADER, every second or third day. In hot and humid regions, soda loading with LACTAT BUFFER is recommended to increase sodium levels and thus prevent dehydration and cramps. Always take a carbohydrate-protein shake such as PRO RECOVERY after every match and additionally consume a protein shake MULTIPROTEIN or CASEIN in the evening before going asleep. If frequent travel and/or contact with large crowds is necessary, the use of IMMUNOGUARD prevents the risk of infection.
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Author: Remo Jutzeler
Head R&D SPONSER SPORT FOOD
Ing. Applied Food Sciences UAS
MAS Nutrition & Health ETHZ