June 8th 2020
Leinster Tennis and the National Dairy Council partner up for a perfect match
Leinster Tennis and the National Dairy Council (NDC) are delighted to announce a new partnership. The partnership will involve working together across a number of activities to promote and raise awareness on the importance of a healthy balanced diet for tennis players and the beneficial role that dairy can play as part of this.
David Spillane, President of Leinster Tennis says, “We are delighted to conclude this agreement after having had to put initial discussions on hold due to the current crisis. We are also grateful to the NDC for continuing to support our sport as we make our way back on court. We have managed to get all of our clubs, and thousands of players, male and female, young and old, back in action in a safe and socially distanced manner. We look forward to continuing to expand our on-court activities in line with the guidance from Government, Sport Ireland and the health authorities.
CEO of Tennis Ireland, Richard Fahey added: “As the NGB responsible for the development of the sport on the island of Ireland, we welcome the support of such a key Irish industry and look forward to the undoubted benefits that will accrue to both parties as we develop this new relationship.”
Registered Nutritionist with the NDC, Caroline Gunn, explains: “We are delighted to team up with Leinster Tennis and support them in delivering nutrition expertise to their players and coaches across their 81 clubs. It is an ideal partnership, with dairy being a nutritious food that can be enjoyed across the life stages; and with tennis being a sport that is also enjoyed by players aged four to 94! We also know from evolving research why dairy may provide an ‘advantage’ for tennis players when it comes to recovering after exercise. This is because milk naturally contains nutrients that can help address the 3 ‘R’s of post-exercise recovery: providing a natural carbohydrate to help refuel energy stores; high-quality protein to assist with muscle repair; and is a fluid with natural electrolytes to help the body rehydrate.
Top Tennis Tips for Peak Performance
ACHIEVE ‘BASELINE’ BALANCE
Energy and nutrient needs vary depending on gender, age, body size and activity levels. A healthy, balanced diet is essential to all tennis enthusiasts for meeting nutritional demands.
ENSURE THERE’S ‘DEUCE’ IN THE TANK
Fuel up 2-3 hours before a game e.g. pasta or rice with tomato-based sauce and chicken; baked potato with beans and cheese; or cereal with milk/yogurt. If needed, top up energy with a carbohydrate-based snack 60 mins beforehand e.g. cereal bar or fruit smoothie.
‘POWER PLAY’ WITH PROTEIN
Protein foods (milk, lean meat, eggs, beans, lentils, cheese, fish, yogurt) should be included at each meal time. Consuming protein following an intense session is particularly useful to assist muscle growth and repair.
KNOW YOUR DAIRY ‘SERVE’-INGS
The Department of Health’s dietary guidelines recommend three servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group are recommended each day, increasing to five daily servings between the ages of 9-18 years. Serving examples: 200mls of milk, 125g pot of yogurt or 25 g of cheese.
GET A ‘GRIP’ ON HYDRATION
Ensure adequate hydration when beginning your match by drinking fluid throughout the day. Rehydrate afterwards to replace fluid lost; water or skimmed milk are good options.
‘ACE’ YOUR RECOVERY
Effective recovery is essential to perform your best in the next session. If your next meal is some time away, aim to start refuelling within 30-60 mins afterwards e.g. sandwich with chicken/tuna/ cheese/hummus; low-fat/ skimmed milk with banana; flavoured milk.
SUPPLEMENTS - WORTH THE ‘RACKET’?
There are no shortcuts - effective training and sensible eating are key. If needed, a sports dietitian can tailor food, fluid and supplement advice to specific needs and goals. Remember, sports supplements are not recommended for those under 18 years of age.
You can find out more on sports nutrition, including free resources, at: www.ndc.ie/nutrition/sports-nutrition