Inspired by Wimbledon? Remember to keep hydrated
Why it's vital to stay hydrated when exercising
Following the Wimbledon Championships this year, thousands of tennis fans will be taking to the tennis courts having been inspired by their tennis heroes.
Whether you are a tennis pro like Andy Murray, Venus Williams and Rafa Nadal or if you simply just want to play for fun, it is vital that you ensure that you keep hydrated on the tennis court.
Staying hydrated is crucial to your performance on the tennis court. When playing tennis (or indeed any intense exercise), your body comes under considerable strain. It is pumping blood all around your body to supply your muscles with oxygen, whilst regulating your core temperature and dissipating heat.
Drinking water and staying hydrated reduces the risk of dehydration which can lead to a decline in performance. This can happen in the world of professional tennis and indeed happened to American tennis player Jack Sock who was forced to withdraw from his second-round match at the US Open in 2015.
Whilst the climate in the UK is typically not that hot, there have been several hotter than average days this year which can catch people out. Tennis is a very intense sport and this can be heightened when played in warm conditions. This combination can lead to higher-than-average sweat rates - sodium is one of the predominant ingredients in sweat and how much sodium you lose is primarily determined by genetics and this can vary from one person to another.
Hydration experts ‘Precision Hydration’ tested a selection of professional sporting athletes and found that the average athlete lost around 920mg of sodium per litre of sweat.
One of the main considerations is the length of tennis matches which can vary between two and five sets (with some of the individual sets played being incredibly long) there is also very limited recovery time between sets in a tennis match which can also contribute towards dehydration issues.
Many professional tennis players such as Andy Murray subject themselves to an osmolarity check which essentially gauges the percentages of water and minerals in your urine – this effectively determines if you are sufficiently hydrated.
If you are planning to play tennis, regardless of your skill level or the individual conditions of the tennis match, it is important to make sure that you stay hydrated. Here are our top tips for keeping hydrated on the tennis court:
1) Start as you mean to go on with regards to hydration
If you start your tennis match with excellent levels of hydration, this will put you in a solid position for the entire match (as long as you keep on top of your hydration levels) You also need to ensure that you replace the electrolytes (essentially the sodium) that are lost from your body as you sweat too.
2) Continue to drink water throughout your tennis match
Where possible, ensure that you keep your hydration levels topped up by sipping water and/or electrolyte drinks. Utilise every opportunity to drink water – sometimes little and often is the best way to stay on top of your hydration levels.
3) Understand what your body needs
Every person is different and required a different level of rehydration - try and pay close attention to what your body requires when it comes to staying hydrated.
4) Be snack savvy
Snacks in-between sets such as bananas, cheese, celery, salami etc can help supplement your electrolyte levels and provide an energy boost too!
If in doubt, get your water out – regardless of how competitive your tennis match is, remember to keep your hydration levels topped up as much as possible, not only will this stop you from suffering from dehydration, it will also help both your body and mind stay in the best possible condition too!
Edgar’s Water are passionate about staying healthy and learning more about the benefits of staying hydrated. Why not give us a call on 0844 579 3999 to chat about your hydration needs and see how we can help!
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