We all know of the need to DRINK during long, hot tennis matches; but what of the need to EAT? What are some of the alternatives for getting much-needed energy and sustenance while on the court?
The Old Banana
The staple for many players (and provided by tournaments) is the old banana. One average banana contains 110 calories, 30 grams of carbohydrate and 1 gram of protein. Bananas are naturally free of fat, cholesterol, and sodium. Bananas provide a variety of vitamins and minerals including potassium, which is important as it helps maintain fluid levels in the body and regulates the movement of nutrients and waste products in and out of cells.
According to OptimumTennis.net, “During the match, tennis players use so much energy resulting to glycogen deposit depletion. The tennis diet during the match should be able to replenish the used-up glycogen. The type of diet that has the capacity to replenish used-up glycogen at the maximum rate is complex carbohydrate drinks.”
What should you eat/drink? “To an extent, it depends on how well you tend to eat in general and how long and hard you play,” says Michael Bergeron, Ph.D., an applied physiologist and assistant professor at the Medical College of Georgia who’s also a member of the USTA Sports Science Committee. “If you follow a healthy diet, you’re not playing for too hard or for too long, and it’s not too hot, you’re probably fine just drinking water and having some kind of high-carb meal a few hours before your match. But if those conditions change, sports drinks and some special foods may be beneficial.”
What food/drinks to YOU use during long, hot matches?
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