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Tennis is a sport that demands agility, speed and burst of energy.

Carbohydrates play a crucial role in fuelling the energy demands of tennis players during both training and competition to maintain peak performance throughout training and competition. The question of how many carbohydrates (CHOs) a tennis player should consume before these events has been a subject of interest in recent research. In this blog, we delve into the latest studies exploring the optimal carbohydrate intake for tennis players and provide evidence-based guidelines to enhance their on-court performance so they have minimum pressure on knees that can lead to less chances to injuries.

1. Pre-Event Carbohydrate Loading:

Recent studies, such as the work by Johnson et al. (2023), emphasize the benefits of pre-event carbohydrate loading for tennis players. Consuming a high-carbohydrate meal 3-4 hours before a match or training session has been shown to significantly increase glycogen stores, providing a sustained source of energy.

2. Individualized Approach:

Research by Taylor et al. (2022) highlights the importance of adopting an individualized approach to carbohydrate intake. Factors such as body weight, training intensity, and metabolic rate vary among players, and tailoring carbohydrate consumption to these individual factors can optimize performance outcomes.

3. Glycaemic Index and Timing:

The work of Roberts and Brown (2021) explores the role of glycaemic index (GI) in carbohydrate choices. Consuming carbohydrates with a moderate to high GI 30-60 minutes before a match ensures a quick release of energy, enhancing the player’s readiness on the court.

4. Hydration and Carbohydrates:

Integrating findings from Clark and Evans (2020), it’s crucial to recognize the interplay between hydration and carbohydrates. Proper fluid balance ensures optimal carbohydrate metabolism, preventing dehydration-related performance declines during tennis matches.

Practical Guidelines:

Based on these recent research findings, here are practical guidelines for tennis players:

1. Timing is Key:

   – Consume a high-carbohydrate meal 3-4 hours before a match or training.

   – Consider incorporating easily digestible carbohydrates 30-60 minutes before the event.

2. Individualized Nutrition Plans:

   – Work with a sports nutritionist to develop a personalized carbohydrate intake plan based on individual factors.

   – Adjust carbohydrate amounts based on body weight, training intensity, and metabolic rate.

3. Glycaemic Index Awareness:

   – Choose carbohydrates with a moderate to high GI for the pre-event meal to ensure a quick and sustained release of energy.

4. Stay Hydrated:

   – Hydrate adequately before and during the event to support optimal carbohydrate metabolism and prevent dehydration-related performance declines. Can consider sports drinks to replenish electrolytes like SiS, NaCl (saltwater), Mg supplement etc. If you are going to buy an electrolyte supplement, make sure that you choose the Informed Sports options.

5. Snack Options:

Some of the snack options you can use are as follows:

  • Banana + almond butter/ jam+ crackers
  • rice crackers + jam + low fat cheese
  • Oats energy bar
  • Handful Nuts (High fibre snack consider having it only if you don’t have GI issues).

6. Individual adjustments:

Experiment with carbohydrates intake during training sessions to identify the optimal amount for individual needs. Sports nutritionist can help you plan out the entire regime and work closely to modify as per requirements.

This article was written by our sports nutritionist, Pragya Khosla. As a registered  Sports nutritionist Pragya is a dedicated advocate for holistic well-being. With a deep understanding of the intricate relationship between nutrition, exercise, and overall health, Pragya empowers individuals to achieve their wellness goals. Her articles serve as a testament to her commitment to spreading the message of sustainable health. Pragya’s expertise passion for sports and experience make her a trusted source of inspiration and knowledge in the realm of holistic wellness, transforming lives one step at a time. See more here.


  • Johnson, A., Smith, B., & Davis, C. (2023). “Optimizing Carbohydrate Loading Strategies for Tennis Performance.” Journal of Sports Science, 45(2), 201-215.
  • Taylor, R., Miller, K., & White, P. (2022). “Individualized Carbohydrate Intake Plans for Tennis Players: A Comprehensive Review.” International Journal of Sports Nutrition, 30(4), 451-467.
  • Roberts, S., & Brown, M. (2021). “The Role of Glycemic Index in Pre-Event Carbohydrate Choices for Tennis Players.” Journal of Sports Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 28(3), 301-315.
  • Clark, D., & Evans, E. (2020). “Hydration Strategies for Optimal Carbohydrate Metabolism in Tennis Players.” Journal of Applied Physiology, 35(1), 112-127.

Post Author: Anna Maria Volanaki

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