Take the USANA quiz to find out how much you know about the nutritional regime of a professional tennis player.

Published May 29, 2013 12:00


1. How many liters of fluid does a tennis player drink before a match?
Ten to twenty minutes prior to going on court the WTA athlete should have at least one cup of water.

2. How many liters of fluid does a tennis player drink during a match?
During a match, a WTA athlete is recommended to drink at least 1.2L of fluid per hour. Practically speaking, this is 6-8 gulps each change of ends. This should include a drink that has a combination of electrolytes and carbohydrate to prevent fatigue, replace fluid and sodium lost during their match.

3. How many liters of fluid does a tennis player drink after a match?
After the match, the athlete needs to replace their sweat lost approximately 1.5L per kilogram of weight lost.

4. Approximately how many calories does the average WTA tennis player expend during a match?
This depends on a number of factors such as body weight, style of play, duration of match, and environmental conditions. For a 64kg (140lbs) player who has played a one hour high intensive tennis match for approximately 512 calories is expended.

5. How many calories does a WTA athlete need to take in per day to maintain their weight during training?
This depends on a number of factors such as number of training sessions per day, length of training session, intensity, mode of training and environmental factors. During competition, if the average training day consisted of two hours of tennis and one hour of conditioning, the average WTA athlete would require approximately 2900 calories per day to maintain their weight.

6. What is the best go to food for players the night before a match?
The goals of nutrition the night before a match are to maximize carbohydrate stores and hydration status. It is also important to consume low fat, protein sources, and vegetables, to optimize muscle repair and immune status. For example pasta with a low fat tomato meat based sauce, salad and water.

7. Why do players eat bananas during a match? What is the benefit?
Bananas are not the optimal fuel source during a match. Players should not need solid food during a match if they have prepared correctly. Fluid sources such as sports gels or sports drinks are ideal, as they provide a quick supply of fuel available to the body.

Bananas are an excellent food source in an athletes' training diet. They are rich in carbohydrates and potassium.

8. Most important vitamin/supplement for a professional to take?
For WTA players, a multi-vitamin and mineral supplement is required due to the high demands of competition, travel and often limitations with international food. WTA players have a 30% increase in the requirement for calcium and iron due to stresses from training/match play and menstrual losses. Also, it can often be difficult to obtain calcium and iron from a food source when travelling and competing around the world.

9. What nutritional sources support the immune system?
We encourage the WTA players to eat at least two serves of fruit and five serves of different colored vegetables per day. In addition eating iron rich foods such as red meat and consuming recovery foods immediately after training and competition.

For times of increased risk of illness, such as, international travel and or when people close to them have an illness, we encourage the intake of immune support supplements such as Vitamin C.

10. How does a probiotic help a WTA tennis player?
Probiotics help replace the friendly bacteria in the players' gut that may be damaged due to recent illness, frequent travel, less than ideal eating habits and taking anti-inflammatory or antibiotic medication. Probiotics aid digestion and can be found in certain food sources (e.g. yoghurt) or supplements.

Thanks to Susie Parker Simmons, MS, RD, MED
Sports Dietician and Physiologist
WTA Sports Nutrition Advisor


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