Fluid and electrolyte losses during tennis in the heat

Clin Sports Med. 1995 Jan;14(1):23-32.


A tennis player's metabolism during play in a hot environment generates an abundance of heat, which is primarily eliminated from the body by evaporation of sweat. An individual's on-court rate of fluid loss will depend on the environmental conditions, intensity of play, acclimatization, aerobic fitness, hydration status, age, and gender. Unless fluid intake closely matches sweat loss, a progressive and significant body water deficit may develop that will proportionately impair cardiovascular and thermoregulatory functions. As a result, a player can experience an increase in core temperature, premature fatigue, performance decrements, and an increased potential for heat illness. Although sweat is hypotonic compared to plasma, extended tennis play, in a hot environment, can lead to sizable Na+ and Cl- losses. Also, ad libitum drinking often leads to involuntary dehydration in these conditions. Therefore, for tennis play and training in the heat, it is important to follow a hydration plan that will minimize on-court water deficits, by optimizing fluid availability, consumption, and absorption. For tennis matches greater than 1 hour in duration, a CHO-electrolyte drink (as described earlier) is the recommended on-court beverage.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Dehydration / physiopathology
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Rehydration Solutions
  • Sweating / physiology
  • Tennis / physiology*
  • Water-Electrolyte Balance*


  • Rehydration Solutions