We hear it all the time: hydration is everything. Anyone with the most basic workout experience will agree with this, but many don’t realize that only water during their intense workout isn’t enough. The same is true when it comes to tennis.
This is something that should be copied from the pros. The best players in the world have access to great nutritionists that tell them what exactly they need to perform at their highest level. Therefore, it’s a no-brainer to steal their methods to stay hydrated on court.
Professional tennis players all drink different things on court, but the drinks are essentially made up of the same nutrients. The ideal sports drink will replace electrolytes, provide an energy bump, boost vitamin levels, and keep a player focused.
Keep reading this article to learn more about specifically what the pros are drinking during matches. We will give you all the tips you need to stay hydrated and replenish what is lost in sweat during intense workouts.
While every player pairs their water with another drink, water is still essential in almost all cases. Why? It sits more easily on the stomach than any other drink. Therefore, your body will be able to stand more of it as opposed to flavored drinks.
As we will go over later on in the article, the more electrolyte-replenishing fluids that you can stand without upsetting your stomach, the better. However, it is uncommon for someone to be able to put down the recommended amount of liquid through sports drinks alone, so most athletes pair their electrolyte supplement with plain water.
Assuming the athlete is hydrated before playing, the general recommendation is that athletes should be drinking about 7-10 ounces of fluids every 10-20 minutes of exercise. For perspective, the average water bottle is almost 17 ounces. Remember that these numbers are nothing more than an estimate for an average workout in average conditions. Additionally, everyone sweats different amounts, so some people will need far more than others.
As a general rule of thumb, energy drinks on the court are a big no-no. You will rarely see any professional player sipping on energy drinks in general, let alone during competition or training.
There are several players that love a good RedBull, presumably to their nutritionist’s dismay. Energy drinks such as Monster or RedBull are unhealthy in general life because of the many chemicals that are added. You can find these on the ingredients list (if you can even read them.)
However, there has been a surge in “healthy” energy drinks over the past year. These are a great alternative to the unhealthy ones in everyday life, but we recommend avoiding them before and during matches. This is because the amounts of caffeine in these drinks lead to poor hydration. A highly caffeinated athlete is likely to cramp if they are not careful about how well they are hydrating.
So, what can you do to get the energy rush you need? Athletes usually rely on the right balance of vitamins in their drink concoctions for an energy boost. If you drink the right things and you’re doing things properly off the court, you shouldn’t need a traditional energy drink to find the boost you’re looking for.
What do the pros drink besides water?
Now that you have the basics down, we will go into what you’re seeing on TV. We mentioned above that many of the top pros work with nutritionists to make them a concoction unique to them. This depends on what exactly they are losing in sweat. Most of these drinks are low in sugar because the taste is less important than what they are actually putting in their bodies.
What’s in their drinks?
As a first note, it is best to find sports drinks with natural ingredients. Over time, you will be putting a lot of this stuff into your body, so be sure that it’s the right stuff to stay healthy over time. That being said, let’s get into the key components.
Your electrolyte-replenishing drink will help you to replace water, electrolytes, and energy that you lose during a workout. Your drink should include some sort of energy-boosting carb, potassium, sodium, magnesium, and calcium. These things are most commonly lost in sweat, so they must be replaced to optimize performance. You will inevitably get tired throughout the course of your workout, but the proper amount of this drink will prolong that fatigue.
If you are picky (and you should be) about what you can get at the store, you can make your own electrolyte drink at home that will be just as effective! I like this one because it gives me everything I need, but sits on my stomach lightly. Here’s the recipe below:
- ¼ cup sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ cup orange juice
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 4 cups cold water
“Cloudy Water” and The Pink Drink
If you watch tennis on TV, it is likely that your favorite player seems to be drinking “cloudy water” or a pink drink. These are just their forms of electrolyte replenishing drinks. Those men and women have the resources for custom drinks for matches, so you’ll rarely see a top player sipping on a Gatorade. Some of the drinks get cloudy because of all of the vitamins and minerals that are added to them.
We have an article all about the pink drink that many of the athletes use. It is a bit repetitive of what you’ve read in this article, but feel free to check it out: What is the Pink Drink Tennis Players Drink?
Like I said, I am quite particular with what I drink on the court. I always make sure that I am putting good fuel into my body. Over the years, these are the electrolyte supplements that I have had the best luck with.
Well, now we’ve been through everything you need to know about hydration for your time on the tennis court. We hope this was all clear and you are able to take these tips with you to improve your game. Remember that this is personal and you will need to do some experimenting to find what exactly your body needs on the court.
If you have any questions about hydration, feel free to reach out to us. We are always checking our messages, especially on instagram @mytennishq. Keep following us for more content that you can use to improve!