Nutrition for tennis: fueling your performance
The food you put in your body directly impacts your performance on the court. Focus on whole grains, lean proteins, fruits, vegetables, and healthy fats to play at your best.
|Before||3-4 hours prior||carbs + protein + fat||meal|
|15-60 minutes prior||carbs||snack|
|During||every hour||carbs||30-60 grams|
|After||≤ 30 minutes after||carbs + protein||snack|
|≤ 2 hours after||carbs + protein + fat||meal|
Water is the most important nutrient for tennis players since the sport is usually played in hot, humid weather, and without a time limit. Adopt a fluid plan and drink according to a schedule to avoid cramps and heat illness.
|Before||2-3 hours prior||water||>16 oz.|
|15-30 minutes prior||carbs||8 oz|
|During||every 15-20 minutes||water + sports drink||4-8 oz.|
|After||for every pound lost||water||16-24 oz.|
Do I REALLY need a sports drink?
If training for more than 60 minutes—YES! Choose a sports drink to help replenish fluids and electrolytes lost in sweat and provide a quick energy source to sustain performance during intense and longer duration training sessions.
As little as a 2% loss of body weight due to dehydration has a negative impact on performance. The easiest way to determine your hydration status is to check the color of your urine.
Be sure your recovery plan includes the 4 Rs—Refuel, Rebuild, Rehydrate, and Recharge—check off all 4 with adequate carbs, protein, water, and rest after intense workouts!
Tara Collingwood, MS, RDN, CSSD, LDN
Trish Kellogg, MS, RDN, LDN