Summer Tennis

Follow these tips from the USTA for staying strong and hydrated through match point.

Q. I am a nationally ranked 30's player and didn't have a great summer season due to a bout of self-diagnosed heat stress. I'm not sure how to better condition my body to cope more effectively with the brutal Florida heat. Any suggestions?

A. There are a number of contributing factors to excessive heat strain and thermal intolerance. Lack of sleep, excessive fluid-electrolyte deficits, insufficient acclimatization to the heat, poor fitness, excessive body fat, recent illness, certain clothing and colors, and some medications can all make one less tolerant of the heat.

However, some people are simply heat-intolerant, having a physiological disability in metabolic heat dissipation, due to an inherent thermo-regulatory dysfunction. A measure of your body and skin temperature, along with heart rate, during an exercise-heat stress would confirm whether or not this is the case.

Before that, make sure none of the above factors are the main reason for your heat intolerance. Often, for example, players are a lot more fluid- and electrolyte (primarily salt)- deficient than they realize.