August 14th, 2016

USTA Sport Science: Fueling & Food Choices During Tennis Tournaments


sports-racquet-ballls-waterNutrition for tennis is vital in preventing heat and hydration concerns in tennis. Here are some basic nutritional suggestions to prevent issues during tournaments:


Pre-Tennis Training or Matchplay (2 hours prior)

Type of Intake: Low/medium glycemic Index (GI) carbohydrate, with a moderate amount of protein. Drink at least 16-20 oz. of water.

Examples: Bowl of oatmeal with two eggs; Turkey, ham or roast beef sandwich

During Training or Matchplay

Type of Intake: Medium/high GI carbohydrate with small amount of protein (if tolerable); Water; Sports drink (6% carbohydrate solution with enhanced electrolytes)

Examples: Nutritional bars with between 200-300 calories (including 5-15 grams of protein)

Immediately Post-Training or Matchplay

Type of Intake: High GI carbohydrate with moderate protein using 1.5 grams/kilogram; Rehydrate with 120-200 percent of fluid lost during the match (Sports drink with added sodium. 1.4-1.2 teaspoon of salt in a 32 oz. product)

Examples: Sports drinks; Recovery shakes or bars; Jelly beans (high sugar) combined with nuts (protein); Trail mix; Chocolate milk

Post-Training Follow-Up

Type of Intake: Solid Low/medium GI carbohydrate meal with moderate amount of protein and liberal amount of salt added to foods.

Examples: Chicken with rice and vegetables; Fish with potatoes and salad; Steak and potatoes with vegetables


This material was compiled by the USTA national body with the assistance of the following individuals:
Mark Kovacs, PhD, CSCS — Manager of Sport Science
Michael Yorio, MD — US Open Tournament Physician
Jessica Battaglia, MS, ATC/L — Assistant to Coaching Education and Sport Science
Paul Lubbers, PhD — Director of Coaching Education
Paul Roetert, PhD, FACSM — Managing Director of Player Development

Please see the USTA Player Development website for more information on heat and hydration issues at