Hydration is extremely important for every athlete, but especially for tennis players, because most of the matches are played outdoors in the middle of the hot days. Even a mild dehydration -- as little as 2% loss of fluids -- can have a detrimental outcome on your tennis performance. You don't even feel thirsty until about 3% of dehydration and often it is too late. The value of water cannot be underestimated. There is a little "trick" that tennis players could use to increase the level of hydration, and the trick is called chia seeds.
Chia is a plant with tremendous nutritional value, and it was used by ancient cultures as high energy endurance food. Chia seeds are nutrient dense, containing many minerals (such as potassium, calcium, iron), vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and essential fatty acids (omega-3s). Chia seeds have the ability to absorb twelve times their weight in water and therefore allowing prolonged hydration. Read more about Chia seeds on Wikipedia.
Benefits of Chia seeds for tennis players:
- easy digestion
- build muscle and tissue
- increase energy and endurance
- extensive hydration properties
- good source of protein, which will help your recovery
- good source of calcium, potassium and iron -- minerals lost in sweat during your intense practices
- high in both soluble and non-soluble iron
Add Chia seeds in any of your meals: oat meal, salads, greek yogurt, juices or protein shakes. But one of the best ideas (the "trick" I promised in the beginning of this article) is to add Chia seeds into your drinking water or beverage that you consume on the tennis court. It makes the drink more fun and it will keep you hydrated for much longer time. You can find Chia seeds in any health food store, or if you enjoy shopping on Internet as much as I do, you will find great quality and price on many health oriented websites. Here is my favorite brand of Chia seeds on Amazon.
If you have a personal experience with Chia seeds, feel free to share it with us in the comment section below. Maybe your favorite recipe?