Top Tips for Tennis Training

The tide is finally turning in the world of tennis where nutrition is concerned.  This is all thanks to Serbian Novak Djokovic  and Scottish professional Andy Murray.  Djokovic, used to suffer badly from asthma and discovered he had a wheat intolerance.  Like Djokovic, Murray also cut out wheat from his diet  and made a number of changes that have turned him into a force to be reckoned with so here are a few of their secrets.

Pre-match fitness and nutrition

  • Exercise in a fasting state during your training. This is an approach that really makes sense although for some of you it may be completely contradictory to what you have been lead to believe.  When we exercise energy is directed towards our muscles and away from our digestive system so anything we eat will sit there like a lead balloon.
  • Keep your protein intake high.  Proteins form the building blocks of all the structures of your body.  Good quality proteins include eggs (can be eaten every day), fish, chicken and wild meat.
  • Consider cutting out wheat and dairy. Both can cause unwanted digestive disturbances whilst you are training.  Instead add in plenty of vegetables including greens which will be a good source of calcium.
  • The night before your match eat plenty of easily digestible protein such as fish and complex carbs from root vegetables.

During match stretch and hydration

  • Hydrate only when thirsty.  Exercise scientist Professor Tim Noakes says in his book Waterlogged ‘Dehydration is simply a reduction in the total body water content.  The only symptom of dehydration is thirst.  If an athlete is not thirsty, he is not dehydrated’.

Post-match nutrition and recovery

  • Continue to eat plenty of protein to enable your body repair.
  • Include healthy fats from eggs, fish and nuts.
  • Boost your antioxidant defence system with loads of fresh vegetables.
  • Ideally have your meal within forty minutes of finishing your match.  Or consider a quality protein shake if this is not possible.