SPORTS NUTRITION FOR TENNIS!
It's that time of year again when Melbourne hosts the Australian Open. It's the middle of summer, matches can last 3 hours for women and 4-5 hours for men (sometimes longer), the winners have to play 7 matches in 14 days and Melbourne is in for a few 40 degree days. The importance of nutrition (as well as being physically prepared) cannot be emphasised enough.
Tennis requires repeated bursts of high intensity running with small rest periods. Players will have a higher metabolic rate and there are numerous nutritional challenges to meet the demands of the match. This involves maintaining appropriate muscle carbohydrate stores (glycogen)and replacing sweat losses. Players have reported sweat rates of more than 2.5L per hour (increases with hot and humid conditions) and this needs to be replaced to avoid performance impairment. A body weight loss of 2% via dehydration (1.4kg for a 70kg athlete) can greatly impair performance which is why hydration strategies are essential. Carbohydrates, fluids and electrolytes will all need to be replaced during a match, usually in the form of sports drinks, gels or bars to provide rapid absorption and reduce the risk of gastrointestinal upset.
During these 2 week tournaments, players will have to play again within a 48 hour period, creating an importance on recovery nutritional strategies. The better players can replace fluid and muscle carbohydrate stores while including protein for muscle growth and repair, the better they will be at backing up for the next match. #performance #teamfed #australianopen #ausopen #tennis #development #recovery #dietitian #sports #nutrition #hydration