Review: Nutrition guidelines for competitive tennis
Author: Dragoş-Florin Teodor
Affiliation: Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Ovidius University, Constanţa, Romania
To provide evidence-based nutritional recommendations for performance tennis players.
Players should particularly focus their exercise program on the adequate and appropriate consumption of four primary nutrient categories – electrolytes, carbohydrates, protein and fat. For most players, the International Tennis Federation recommends a minimum of approximately 2500 calories a day, although some players may require in excess of 3500 calories.
The American College of Sports Medicine and the National Athletic Trainers Association have recommended that athletes should consume in general 30-60 g/h CHO during exercise.
It is important for tennis players to eat plenty of complex carbohydrate foods, especially those with a low glycemic index to help boost glycogen stores.
Protein is crucial for maintaining, building and repairing the tennis players’ muscles. Players should consume 15-20 g of protein within 30 minutes after a tennis match. Fat takes the longest time to digest, and thus, it is not a good source of quick energy during exercise. Vitamins and minerals do not provide a source of energy but are needed to derive energy from nutrients that are consumed.
Keywords: nutrition, electrolytes, carbohydrates, protein.