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Original Article   

Minerva Pediatrics 2022 Jun 21

DOI: 10.23736/S2724-5276.22.06878-1


lingua: Inglese

Nutritional habits of adolescent tennis players pre-, during, and post-match play

Susan TRUAX 1, James Andrew FLEMING 2, Brett L. CROSS 1, Gregory J. GROSICKI 1

1 Biodyanmics and Human Performance Center, Georgia Southern University (Armstrong Campus), Savannah, GA, USA; 2 School of Human and Health Sciences, University of Huddersfield, Huddersfield, UK

BACKGROUND: Adolescence is accompanied by unique nutritional needs that must be addressed to support healthy growth and development. Energy intake and nutrient needs are exaggerated by athletic participation, and thus special attention to dietary choices in adolescent athletes is warranted. We investigated the nutritional habits of competitive adolescent tennis players.
METHODS: Forty-five athletes (14F/31M, 15.7±1.7yrs) completed an online nutrition questionnaire investigating pre-, during, and post-match food and drink choices, and the primary decision maker and reasoning behind these choices.
RESULTS: The day before match play, 29% of athletes reported carbohydrate (CHO) dominant meals. Water (98%), sports drink (73%), granola or protein bar (42%), and banana (36%) consumption were the most reported fueling options during match play. For matches >2h, 64% of players reported consuming a sports beverage and 21% supplemented with other CHO food items. Regarding hydration strategy, 87% of players reported not having a targeted fluid consumption goal and 69% reported gauging their hydration intake during a match according to thirst. The day after a match, 38% of players reported returning to a normal diet. The majority of adolescent athletes (76%) reported themselves as the primary decision maker of food choices rather than the parent/guardian or coach. Availability (62%), rather than performance (38%), was the primary rationale behind food and drink choices.
CONCLUSIONS: Findings show wide variation in eating and drinking habits in competitive adolescent tennis players pre-, during, and post-match-play, with an opportunity for improved sports nutrition application.

KEY WORDS: Carbohydrate; Performance; Hydration; Youth; Endurance

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