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Tennis: Nutrition strategy

Time

Suggested Food & Drink Choices 

3-4 hours before match
  • Pasta or rice with a tomato based sauce, chicken, turkey, fish & well cooked vegetables (avoid broccoli, sprouts, cabbage, green beans)
  • Jacket potato with tuna or low fat cheese
  • Tropical fruit, yoghurt or smoothies
  • Start drinking little and often

*Avoid high fat & high fibre foods during this time*

 

1-2 hours before match(Before pre-match discussion with coach)
  • Milk shake or fruit smoothie
  • Oat based cereal bar (NOT protein based)
  • Breakfast cereal with milk (low fibre)
  • Yoghurt drink
  • Tropical fruit or banana
  • Drink 300-400 ml of fluid

 

Less than 1 hour before match (During pre-match discussion with coach)
  • Sports drink
  • Isotonic gel
  • Cereal bar
  • Raisins
Warm-up
  • Sip sports drink or individual drink of your choice
  • Take a gel if required

 

During match
  • Take 5-6 sips of drink at each change of ends (more required if hot)
  • If your match lasts longer than 1 hour or your drink does not contain carbohydrate, consume 20-60g of carbohydrate each hour (1-2 gels, 1 energy bar, 1 banana, handful raisins).

 

Post match recovery (after shower and before warm-down
  • Carbohydrate & protein recovery drink
  • Low fat milk shake
  • Protein shake & fruit or cereal bar
  • See rehydration guidelines above

 

1-2 hours post match
  • Pasta or rice with a tomato based sauce, chicken, tofu, turkey, fish & vegetables
  • Stir-fry with noodles
  • Jacket potato with baked beans
  • Bagels, pitta, sandwiches, wraps with lean protein filling
  • Breakfast cereal with milk
  • See rehydration guidelines above

*Avoid high fat foods and junk food such as crisps and chocolate*

 

IF PLAYING AGAIN ON SAME DAY (<2 hours rest)
  • Take a recovery shake & energy bar / cereal bar
  • Sip a sports drink during the hour before the match
  • Take one gel during the warm-up if required

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The 4 R’s for Recovery

Eat a high GI snack within 30 minutes of finishing your match (see SOTO Guide To Choosing Carbohydrate sheet)

Eat 10-20 g of lean protein with your carbohydrate snack within 30 minutes of finishing your match (see SOTO Guide to Protein sheet)

Replace the fluid you have lost through sweating with water and salty snacks or (if the session was light) or a sports drink (see guidelines below)

Eat some fruit and vegetables with your first main meal after a match. Following the first 3 R’s will also help to boost your immune system.

Rehydration

After a match it is important to replace the fluids lost during a match, whether the match is scheduled to begin within 1-2 hours or the next day, rehydration should begin straight away.

Sweating helps keeps your body cool and prevents you overheating which can cause fatigue and more dangerous health problems. However, sweating results in dehydration which can also cause many health and performance problems. Even a small amount of dehydration can cause an increase in your perception of how hard you are working. Many factors such as temperature, humidity, clothing, match intensity and duration will influence how much fluid you need to drink.

Sweat not only contains water but it also contains salts (electrolytes). If you’ve ever noticed that sweat makes your eyes sting, that’s due to the salt! These salts are really important to your body and must be replaced.