Good hydration means getting the right amount of water before, during, and after practice or match. Water regulates your body temperature and lubricates your joints. It helps transport nutrients to give you energy and keep you healthy. If you're not hydrated, your body can't perform at its highest level.
1. Avoid being thirsty
Don't wait with hydration until you are thirsty, because then you are already too late.
Many tennis players are only drinking during practice when they are thirsty.
But don't wait too long and hydrate yourself on time!
2. Drink enough water (one standard bottle) or electrolyte-enhanced sports drink two hours before the tennis practice or match play.
When you don't do this, you cannot hydrate yourself well enough during practice or match play.
3. Hydration is different for long matches.
For short matches, less than an hour, hydration with water is good enough.
For longer matches, more than an hour, hydration with vitamins (electrolytes) is important.
4. Hydration before, during, and after the match differs from the kind of hydration.
Before the match: hypotonic drinks
Hypotonic drinks have a lower concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt than blood.
That means that they are absorbed into the bloodstream at a faster rate for quick hydration.
You can also drink water.
Best for: rapid rehydration.
During the match: isotonic drinks
Isotonic drinks have a similar concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt to blood.
Therefore, absorption into the bloodstream is quick and these drinks provide more energy than hypotonic drinks.
Best for: during the match
After the match: hypertonic drinks
Hypertonic drinks have a higher concentration of fluid, sugars, and salt than blood.
They provide the highest dose of carbohydrates of all energy drinks.
The absorption into the bloodstream is a little slower, but still a quick way to top up your energy level.
Best for: recovery.
5. Hydration is related to mental aspects
Dehydration can not only impact your performance physically but it can also negatively impact your mental game. Your cognitive performance is just as important as your physical performance. Dehydration can lead to slower reaction times, increased fatigue, poor concentration, and less motivation.
What do you think about hydration in tennis matches?