Playing tennis in the heat causes your body to not only produce heat, but sweat to the point where you’re losing water and sodium in a big way. If you’re playing intense, competitive games of tennis and the environment is hot and humid, here are some tips for staying hydrated.
First, consider increasing your both your salt and carbohydrate intake before playing tennis. Supply your body with electrolytes by drinking things like Gatorade before matches. You’ll want to avoid drinking beer and caffeinated drinks like coffee or soda since they accelerate fluid loss.
Next, while playing tennis in the heat, drink water during your breaks, even if you don’t feel thirsty. A cup of water during each changeover is a good idea, but Gatorade may be even better to help maintain your blood glucose level, delaying fatigue. Meanwhile, Gatorade will help replenish the salt (sodium) you sweated out while playing the game. There are numerous “sports drinks” on the market that you can choose from, as they are marketed to players like you who have specific needs while playing sports.
Finally, after you’re done playing tennis in the heat, it’s important to replace the fluid, electrolytes and carbohydrates you just lost. Drink water and/or Gatorade and don’t be afraid to take in a small amount of easily digestible food for valuable nutrients. The more water and salt you take in, the better, since you just sweated a lot out of your body. Some athletes like to have plain noodles with some salt on them after a match.
Other practical tips for playing tennis in hot weather include finding a shady spot for rest, out of the hot sun. Wearing a visor on your head is a good idea, too. Taking breaks from intense play will also give your body much-needed time to rest.
Remember that the human body is comprised mostly of water. Tennis is an intense, exhilarating sport that gets people sweating more than other sports. When it’s especially hot outside on the court, proper hydration is key to a good game.