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Tennis injury prevention

By Dr. Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro, Chief Medical Advisor to the Spanish Federation of Tennis and Director of the Mapfre Tennis Medicine Clinic.

The 10 commandments of diet and hydration

  • - Try to eat five times a day.
  • - Give paramount importance to breakfast.
  • - Eat plenty of food, greens and whole grains.
  • - The intake of fat must be moderate, and if possible it should be of plant origin. Olive oil is particularly good.
  • - Do not wait until you feel thirsty. Drink often. Drink eight glasses of water a day.
  • - Add a minimum quantity of salt to your food. Learn to enjoy natural flavours.
  • - Always eat in a quiet environment. Chew properly and take your time. - Let your stomach settle after eating; always respect at least a two hour break.
  • - Cut down on alcohol consumption.
  • - Learn to nourish yourself by eating properly.

What should we know about water?

  • - It has no calorific value but its importance in life is only exceeded by oxygen.
  • - It makes up over 70% of adult body weight.
  • - Make sure you are completely hydrated before, during and after practising sport. This guarantees optimum performance and prevents any related problems.
  • - Thirst is a sign that you need water. Feeling thirsty means minor dehydration has already begun.
  • - A good formula is to weigh yourself before and after exercise and replace lost water. The weight you lose immediately after exercising is due to loss of water and never to loss of body fat.
  • - Adding electrolytes to water is usually beneficial after long and intense exercise, since these help to “fix” the water and contribute to deeper hydration.
  • - Isotonic drinks that contain appropriate quantities of electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium and magnesium) as well as carbohydrates (glucose and fructose) are commercially available which aid  muscle work and help with recovery.
  • - The perfect intake of water for a 70 kg person (11 st.) would be 2.5 litres, always bearing in mind individual factors.
  • - Athletes must increase this intake bearing in mind heat and the type of exercise to be carried out. No physical activity must be undertaken without correct nutrition and hydration.


Alimentación tenis

Dr. Ángel Ruiz-Cotorro is Chief Medical Advisor to the Spanish Federation of Tennis and Director of the Mapfre Tennis Medicine Clinic.


To summarize

  • - One and a half to two hours before starting any physical activity you should preferably ingest carbohydrates such as pasta, rice or potatoes.
  • - Do not eat fat and consume proteins responsibly, always taking into account easy digestion.
  • - Doing physical work on an empty stomach is a bad habit which can at times lead to undesirable effects such as fainting, feeling dizzy or premature fatigue.
  • - Prior to a sports competition, drink water often and in small quantities, starting if possible, two hours beforehand.
  • - After practising sport, nothing is more important than recovering lost fluids.  Water, isotonic drinks and fruit are usually the most appetising. 
  • - Allowing yourself time to recover before eating will help prevent muscle fatigue and stomach cramps.

And lastly, a brief note on tennis injuries:
Their prevention is based on a “magic” triangle:

  • - Physical training.
  • - Eating habits.
  • - An orderly sports routine.

The Mapfre Tennis Medicine Clinic offers you these tips with the aim of turning tennis into a sport covered by specialised medicine.
The Mapfre Tennis Medicine Clinic is the first international clinic dedicated to the research and prevention of pathologies derived from playing tennis.
For further information, please visit:


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