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The Ultimate Nutrition Guide for Tennis Player

nutrition tennis

“Tennis is a sport requiring intermittent of both high intensity and low intensity spurts through the game’’

Tennis is a sport requiring intermittent of both high intensity and low intensity spurts through the game therefore requiring energy supply from both aerobic and anaerobic means, with major reliance on anaerobic component.

The aerobic energy processes derive energy from muscle glycogen, blood glucose, and fat and to lesser extent, protein, while on the other hand the anaerobic processes are solely reliant on muscle glycogen to derive energy. The increase demand of muscle glycogen requires the consumption of high amount of carbohydrates diet both before exercise and carbohydrate-containing beverages during exercise to significantly improve intermittent performance.

Therefore pre-game meal is important to maintain constant energy balance and therefore players are advised to consume starchy, easily digested snacks like a slice of cottage cheese or vegetable sandwich or high fiber crackers.

If tennis is played in hot and humid climate like in India, the players should maintain a adequate fluid intake to sustain the sweat rate and blood volume. All breaks that occur as a result of time outs should be utilized to replenish fluid and carbohydrates loss for glycogen and muscle recovery and also to prevent dehydration.

During exercise, athletes should consume a beverage that provides about a 6% carbohydrate solution and a sodium concentration of between 100 and 200 milligrams per cup. This dilution can be made by, adding 15 g sugar, ¼ tea spoon salt per liter of liquid. Post game intake is also important and athletes should consume approximately 350 calories from carbohydrate and protein mix snacks during first 30 minutes following exercise as glycogen synthase activity is at peak.

Combing a high quality protein like whey protein or egg or peanut along with carbohydrate and adequate fluid will reduce muscle soreness and improve muscle recovery.

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Whether to Train Low or High???

Whether to Train Low or High

Train low: means to perform your training under low glycogen levels.

Compete High: Means competing under high glycogen levels.

TRAIN LOW COMPETE HIGH is a fuelling practice that some serious players use-sometimes unknowingly when they do double workouts and fail to refuel well after the first workout. The glycogen content present in the body plays a huge part in how long we can sustain performance over a long event. In theory training low stimulates the body to signal different pathways that support energy metabolism.

Training in a glycogen-depleted state can promote the body to be more efficient at utilizing fat and potentially spare glycogen during endurance exercise. Basically, it’s to develop a more efficient engine for endurance exercise. Yes; training low does have advantages, but not all the time.

 

“A good general rule of thumb for those wanting to play around with the train low concept is to train low during low intensity workouts and train high during high intensity workouts”.

Keep in mind that training in this low state too often may interfere with our ability to train hard. Whatever your sport is, remember to eat responsibly, with carbohydrate as the foundation of each meal and protein as the accompaniment. Consuming carbohydrate also allows for the replenishment of muscle glycogen after exercise. In a land mark study by exercise physiologist Dr. J. Bergstrom and his colleagues (Bergstrom et al. 1967), researchers compared the rate at which muscle glycogen was replaced in subjects who exercised to exhaustion and then ate either a high – protein, high – fat diet or a high- carbohydrate diet. The subjects on the high protein, high fat diet (similar to an Atkins –type diet with abundant steak, eggs, hamburgers, tuna salad, peanut butter, and cheese) remained glycogen depleted for five days. The subjects on the high – carbohydrate diet totally replenished their muscle glycogen in two days .This result shows that protein and fat are not stored as muscle glycogen and that carbohydrate is important for replacing depleted glycogen stores.

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Must Follow Hydration Tips During Training Session

Must Follow Hydration Tips During Training Session
  1. Players should consume about 450 ml of fluid approximately 1 to 1.5 hours before physical activity. After this fluid consumption, players should institute a sipping protocol (about half a cup every 10 to 15 minutes) with the sports beverage they will consume during their game. This will help ensure that exercise begins with blood sugar and blood volume at a good level.

 

  1. After the last meal and before the beginning of exercise, foods that have a long gastric emptying time (i.e., foods high in fat, protein and fiber) should be avoided, as should unaccustomed foods and beverages.

 

  1. Thirst is an important emergency sensation indicating the body cannot tolerate a great deal more fluid loss; but players should not rely on thirst as the primary indicator of when to drink. When the thirst sensation first occurs, players has already typically lost 1.5 to 2.0 liters of fluid.

 

  1. Before thirst sets in, players should drink a carbohydrate-and sodium-containing solution at fixed and well-practiced intervals. Care should be taken to not over consume fluids during physical activity, particularly fluid devoid of sodium, as these may increase the risk of developing hyponatremia.During exercise; players should consume a beverage that provides about a 6% carbohydrate solution and a sodium concentration of between 100 and 200 milligrams per cup.

 

  1. After physical activity, players should consume sufficient fluids to regain a good state of hydration, as indicated by clear urine .This should be done as soon as possible after the exercise is over. As a guide, the difference in body weight before and after exercise is an indication of the amount of fluid that was not replaced during exercise. 500 g of body weight is equivalent to 450 ml of fluid. A good training program will attempt to add sufficient fluid to the training regimen so as to avoid a significant weight (i.e., body water) loss.
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