Recovery, supplements, routines for back to back matches

SDCHRIS

New User
Hello tournaments players. I will start playing 4.0 USTA tournaments and want to get your advice on how to prepare for tournaments where I may have to play two matches on the same day.
Lots of tournament try to finish in one weekend so with a round of 16 I have to play 2 matches each day. I'm 44 years old but still in good shape but I don't recover as fast as I used to. After a long 2 or 3 set match my body is pretty much done so I can't imagine playing again after a few hours of rest. So what have you guys done during those 2-3 hours in between matches to recover? What kind of training do you do to prepare for this situation? I already run and lift weights as my training. Any food or supplement will help in these situations?
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
@ChaelAZ didn't/don't you use that portable cryo wrap?

Hey, yeah. Bought it years ago for elbow issues, but found I could use cryo generally after matches to help aleviate pain for the next day. I have the Vitalwear wrap system that uses ice and water for circulation. I bought a gently used one on **** for around $100 and it has worked great for years now.

Thsi si the one:




For me I use it for my arm, shoulder, knees and lower back after matches if I played hard. I find it cuts down on stiffness and pain (doesn't eleminate it, but greatly reduces it for me). You have to buy some of the additional wraps to do things properly, but the large stock wrap can work for most things. I did also try to use it for my neck compression, but the cold gave me headches so I use a warm compress for that.

Worth trying.
 

ChaelAZ

G.O.A.T.
There are certainly better, more complete units to check in the cryotherapy space, so I would see what is out there now too.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Hello tournaments players. I will start playing 4.0 USTA tournaments and want to get your advice on how to prepare for tournaments where I may have to play two matches on the same day.
Lots of tournament try to finish in one weekend so with a round of 16 I have to play 2 matches each day. I'm 44 years old but still in good shape but I don't recover as fast as I used to. After a long 2 or 3 set match my body is pretty much done so I can't imagine playing again after a few hours of rest. So what have you guys done during those 2-3 hours in between matches to recover? What kind of training do you do to prepare for this situation? I already run and lift weights as my training. Any food or supplement will help in these situations?
I'm your age and can no longer play 4 tough matches in 2 days (like I could back in High School).

Listen to your body to be sure you don't pull anything. I had a friend a little older than us who tore his achilles tendon due to overuse and it was about a year before he could get back on the court again. The worst part is he said it was bothering him a bit but he thought he could play through it...
 

Fintft

Legend
Hot shower + massage, multi and B vitamins, omega 3, D, small aspirin, blue berries, dark chocolate, red wine.
 

Nostradamus

Bionic Poster
An ice bath can reduce inflammation and fatigue after a hard match. A cool shower can help but a hot shower could be detrimental.
No amateur that I know do this even at very high levels. I guess winning junky would do it because of the endorphin rush you get from winning. but that isn't worth it for me.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Hello tournaments players. I will start playing 4.0 USTA tournaments and want to get your advice on how to prepare for tournaments where I may have to play two matches on the same day.
Lots of tournament try to finish in one weekend so with a round of 16 I have to play 2 matches each day. I'm 44 years old but still in good shape but I don't recover as fast as I used to. After a long 2 or 3 set match my body is pretty much done so I can't imagine playing again after a few hours of rest. So what have you guys done during those 2-3 hours in between matches to recover? What kind of training do you do to prepare for this situation? I already run and lift weights as my training. Any food or supplement will help in these situations?
- static stretching after the end of the match
- dynamic stretching before the next match
- don't eat a huge, protein-laden meal in between matches [protein takes the most resources to digest; save the protein for after the play for that day]
- give yourself plenty of time to digest food
- ice and ibuprofin for inflammation

I think the physical stuff will help more than specific foods or supplements. YMMV.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
I would prob get on the stretch rack and stationary bike, maybe lie down and rest and then another 1 hour dynamic warmup before next one. Last time I played two tournament matches, had to start the 2nd one as soon as first ended and lower back was tight, didn't go well.
 

Fintft

Legend
I would prob get on the stretch rack and stationary bike, maybe lie down and rest and then another 1 hour dynamic warmup before next one. Last time I played two tournament matches, had to start the 2nd one as soon as first ended and lower back was tight, didn't go well.
What's a stretch rack? And it's true that many of us have tight backs( or being hunched over) after playing. In my case it is also due to a displaced disk (old bb-al injury) so it takes me about a minute to be able to relax and sit on my back, horizontally on the floor (before doing some crunches or such, followed by push ups and planks).

I usually use the stationary bike the day after, while my significant one uses it a lot before playing.
 

Hmgraphite1

Hall of Fame
Tru-stretch machine


Precore stretch machine



These two are at the gym and work great.
Also lay on ground and do various yoga type stretches. I heard one of the top pros saying he was getting right on the bike after a match for light workout,
 

Keendog

Professional
If you can stomach it bi-carb soda or sodium bicarbonate can neutralize lactic acid in your muscles. Used to dope race horses
 

MyFearHand

Rookie
I'm not in the correct age range (23) but I was on court 17 hours over 3 days at a tournament this summer (1 hour friday and 16 mixed throughout Saturday and Sunday) combined between singles and doubles. I made sure to sleep really well in between days. I ate a lot of starchy salads, pasta, dates, nuts and made sure to continuously drink fluids. I made sure to stretch before and after my matches diligently, also the nights in between playing days. On the last day I also ended up drinking pedialyte because I was nervous I might start cramping. There aren't really any magic tricks, just be in good shape, listen to your body, eat well and stretch. All the things you might expect.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
If you can stomach it bi-carb soda or sodium bicarbonate can neutralize lactic acid in your muscles. Used to dope race horses
What side effects does it have? Besides neutralizing lactic acid in muscles, could it also be neutralizing other acids [ie stomach]? And does it make some people nauseous?
 

Keendog

Professional
What side effects does it have? Besides neutralizing lactic acid in muscles, could it also be neutralizing other acids [ie stomach]? And does it make some people nauseous?
Well yeah it can be used as an ant-acid for indigestion. But don't know of any side effects.
 

Keendog

Professional
The most common side effects of sodium bicarbonate are:

  • Gas (with tablet form)
  • Bloating (with tablet form)
Serious Effects and Reactions
You and your doctor should watch for the following serious effects of sodium bicarbonate:

  • Increased level of body pH (metabolic alkalosis)
  • Worsening congestive heart failure
  • Seizures
  • Severe muscle spasms and contractions (tetany)
  • Swelling in feet, ankles, and lower legs
  • High levels of sodium in the blood
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Well yeah it can be used as an ant-acid for indigestion. But don't know of any side effects.
What I meant was, if one does not have indigestion, could using a base like you suggested dull unintentionally stomach acid [ie not a good thing because that might interfere with digestion]?

I'm curious because I've heard of lactic acid buildup as being responsible for soreness but I've never heard of using a base to counteract it.
 

Keendog

Professional
What I meant was, if one does not have indigestion, could using a base like you suggested dull unintentionally stomach acid [ie not a good thing because that might interfere with digestion]?

I'm curious because I've heard of lactic acid buildup as being responsible for soreness but I've never heard of using a base to counteract it.
Well I think it's commonly used but more than a little will make you bloated so maybe not while still exercising or in low doses. I've never heard of interfering with stomach acid content, same as having vinegar or citrus wont over acidify it I suppose?
 

Keendog

Professional
I forgot to memtion ibuprofen after significant workout. I'm led to believe all athletes take them as they are the strongest legal anti-inflam. Just be aware continual use has some significant side effects.
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
I wouldn't recommend sodium bicarb. Not only is it loaded with sodium (duh), all it will do is temporarily buffer stomach acid. If it has enough effect to actually alkalize your blood enough to somehow counteract lactic acid buildup in muscles, you would probably be in a metabolic alkalosis state and at risk for other much more serious problems than muscle recovery.

Stretching, ice, NSAIDs (ibuprofen, naproxen, etc.), really good hydration (a lot of water plus some electrolytes), massage, and a full nights sleep are the way to go. Obviously ice and sleep are primarily helpful for next day matches, not next 2-3 hour matches. Also, you should be able to build up your endurance so playing 2 matches on 2 consecutive days or 2 matches in one day isn't so taxing -- it is a question of fitness. Where do you find you get sore? Is it general fatigue? Are you winded? Cramping? Answers to this may help direct what you can do to avoid in the future.

For sodium replacement, a simple 1/8-1/4 teaspoon of table salt in your 32 oz water bottle is great and for potassium, eat 10-12 dried apricots. Much more densely packed potassium than bananas.

Finally, although I wouldn't widely recommend it, I do typically take 600 mg ibuprofen *30 min before* starting what I know will be a tough match. I have found this provides significant benefit during the match and also for shortening recovery period. Just realize that it comes with some level of risk as ibuprofen and other NSAIDs can be hard on your GI tract, etc. Risk/reward may not be worth it in your case.
 
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S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I wouldn't recommend sodium bicarb. Not only is it loaded with sodium (duh), all it will do is temporarily buffer stomach acid. If it has enough effect to actually alkalize your blood enough to somehow counteract lactic acid buildup in muscles, you would probably be in a metabolic alkalosis state and at risk for other much more serious problems than muscle recovery.
I was thinking about something like this in post #20.

...for potassium, eat 10-12 dried apricots. Much more densely packed potassium than bananas.
I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip: I love dried apricots and they're much more transportable [less squishable] than bananas.

For recovery, is it mainly postassium to worry about or also magnesium and other similar valence chemicals?
 

philosoup

Rookie
I was thinking about something like this in post #20.



I didn't know that. Thanks for the tip: I love dried apricots and they're much more transportable [less squishable] than bananas.

For recovery, is it mainly postassium to worry about or also magnesium and other similar valence chemicals?
and some extra Vitamin C (up to 1000mg) to help muscle recovery.
 

TypeRx

Semi-Pro
I don't personally supplement magnesium but 500 mg a day when really active and sweating is probably fine. You have to be a bit careful with the electrolytes -- make sure not to over do it.

Dried apricots are fabulous -- I keep a snack size ziploc bag in my tennis bag at all times. I probably have 20 apricots in there. When I feel like I am sweating a lot, I'll eat 5-6 in between sets. 5-6 dried apricots has nearly 500 mg potassium. Another thing to consider for especially hot days would be to drink coconut water in addition to your regular water (or water with a pinch of salt in it).

Antioxidants like vitamin C, pomegrante, cheribundi, etc. are all reasonable to help promote recovery or just general well being.

Overall, I wouldn't complicate any of this unless you are a hardcore athlete regularly playing grueling 3 hour+ matches and have a propensity for cramping or prolonged recovery times. Keep it simple -- great hydration, some sodium and potassium, massage/stretching, and sleep (oh, and NSAIDs if you need them).
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I don't personally supplement magnesium but 500 mg a day when really active and sweating is probably fine. You have to be a bit careful with the electrolytes -- make sure not to over do it.

Dried apricots are fabulous -- I keep a snack size ziploc bag in my tennis bag at all times. I probably have 20 apricots in there. When I feel like I am sweating a lot, I'll eat 5-6 in between sets. 5-6 dried apricots has nearly 500 mg potassium. Another thing to consider for especially hot days would be to drink coconut water in addition to your regular water (or water with a pinch of salt in it).

Antioxidants like vitamin C, pomegrante, cheribundi, etc. are all reasonable to help promote recovery or just general well being.

Overall, I wouldn't complicate any of this unless you are a hardcore athlete regularly playing grueling 3 hour+ matches and have a propensity for cramping or prolonged recovery times. Keep it simple -- great hydration, some sodium and potassium, massage/stretching, and sleep (oh, and NSAIDs if you need them).
It's not so much to combat the cramping but the post-match headache, which I think might be a deficiency of potassium/magnesium. I don't think it's mere hydration or basic sodium.
 

ubercat

Professional
Sour cherry juice. You can buy the skins if you're worried about calories. Strong tea made with fresh ginger. Just cut it up fine pour boiling water over it drink it as strong as you can stand. I've got bum knees that helps but I think I generally helps with all inflammation
 

ubercat

Professional
Turmeric can upset your stomach. you can get this horrible liquid at the drugstore now which combines turmeric ginger and black pepper. Tastes like bum do mix it with your favourite fruit juice or Kombucha
The black pepper aids the absorption. the ginger neutralizes the stomach problems
 
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