At its highest level, tennis is highly reliant on anaerobic energy systems although a developed aerobic capacity is of significant advantage in terms of recovery between points, and tolerance to heat.
Today's top players are religious about their nutrition:
- Before: Maximise glycogen stores before play using hi-carb nutrition for carbo-loading.
- During: Replenish used-up glycogen at a maximum rate using complex carbohydrate-protein drinks.
- After: Most importantly they recover using high-protein and carbohydrate drinks.
For top players the order of importance is as follows:
- Recovery - Make sure you have a good recovery strategy. If not your progress will slow down soon and you end up with injuries and a poor immune system. These symptoms of overtraining can be prevented with a good recovery strategy.
- Energy drink - Poor rehydration and energy and electrolyte suppletion will cause you to tire sooner and loose concentration after a while. For optimal performance en endurance a tennisplayer must optimise its glycogen levels during matches and training. Use a professional sports drink with comples carbohydrates and amino acids just before and during matches and training. A good sportsdrink will replenish your glycogen during the training at a maximum and even level. Carbohydrates taken in combination with amino acids are easier absorbed and better utilised. Timing and volume of intake and adjustment to weather conditions are of great importance. For this he will need to have the best available energy drink and take it at the right time.
- Immune system - Keep your immune system strong and avoid injuries. By using the right nutrition the immune function can be supported. By using a good recovery strategy and providing your body with the nutrients needed for healthy joints, tendons and muscles injuries can be prevented and the recovery of injuries can be accelerated.
- Carbo-loading - Matches can last for up to five hours and the carbohydrate fuel stores of the player are likely to be challenged.Carbo-loading before important events can provide you with the energy edge in long extended matches. Endurance athletes can not erform to their best without well planned carbohydrate loading.