Hydration Tips For Junior Tennis Players: Before and During Matches

Hydration is a very important aspect of a tennis player’s performance on court. Studies have shown that:

  • Exercise performance is impaired when an individual is dehydrated by as little as 2% of body weight. Losses in excess of 5% of body weight can decrease the capacity for work by about 30% (Armstrong et al. 1985; Craig and Cummings 1966; Maughan 1991; Sawka and Pandolf 1990).

  • Tennis athletes dehydrated by 3.1% reduce their upper body power by 7.17% and lower body power by 19.20% (averages)

  • Additionally, in further studies, there was evidence that tennis players can lose 4 to 7 pounds per hour during a match!

Pre-Match Hydration Guidelines

  • Two to Three hours before a workout or match, drink approximately two to three cups of fluids (16-22 oz.)

  • One hour prior to a workout or match, drink approximately one to two cups of fluid (8-16 oz.)

  • 15 minutes prior to a workout or match, drink approximately one cup of fluid (8oz.)

During-Match Hydration / Nutrition Guidelines

  • Whenever you have a change over, you should drink approximately 4-12 swallows of water or a sports drink. 4-12 swallows typically equates to 4-12 oz. and the higher end of this spectrum should be followed for heavier sweaters.

  • Experiment with the amount of ounces with the goal of your weight being within a close range after the match compared to your pre-match weight

  • Per 8 oz. of fluid, you should have a minimum of 70 mg of sodium. For heavier sweaters, more sodium is needed

  • 30-60 grams of carbohydrates per hour

  • If the match or practice lasts longer than an hour, the fluid you should be consuming should have a 4-1 ratio of carbohydrates to protein

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