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Post-match recovery

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June 29, 2015 08:20 PM

By Elizabeth Chaffin and Dr. Alexis Colvin, special to USTA.com

Learn the proper way to recover after your match, from how to cool down to what to eat post-match:

Plan accordingly: Your food intake should be adjusted to the time between matches. What you'll eat the day before your next match is different from what you'll eat a few hours before it.

Have a recovery snack: Eat a snack or have a recovery drink no later than 30-40 minutes post-match. The snack should be a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein and have about 200-400 calories. Examples include chocolate milk, recovery drinks, fruit juices (cherry), a bowl of granola or whole grain cereal with low fat milk, a banana with a glass of low-fat milk or almond butter on whole wheat toast.

Cool down: A light jog, stationary bike ride or a walk in the pool is recommended. You never want to transition from a high-intensity exercise to being stationary because this may lead to injury.

Stretch: Stretching is critical to prevent injury.

Eat a proper meal: If you’re done competing for the day, you should have a regular meal within one to two hours of your recovery snack. The meal should consist of easy-to-digest protein (fish, chicken, and turkey), carbs (rice, pasta, bread) and low-fat foods. Red meat and high-fat foods require more water to digest and may actually limit recovery in high-heat conditions. You should also have a light snack prior to bed in order to keep your energy reserves up

Check your urine: You should urinate 4-5 times prior to the next day’s match and urine should be close to clear.

For more information on player wellness, please contact playerwellness@usta.com

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Elizabeth Chaffin is the coordinator of medical for the USTA, and Dr. Alexis Colvin is the USTA's Chief Medical Officer.

 

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