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Staying Hydrated

Q. Even though I take in fluids before a match and during crossovers during the match, I tend to cramp later after my matches. Drinking water and/or Gatorade doesn't help. Can you recommend anything to help with this problem? I've notice that the players at the US Open are drinking some "pink substance." What is that, and is it available to the public?

A. The pink substance you refer to is simply water mixed with a flavored electrolyte powder. You can purchase this mix at any local GNC store.

Q. I always see the pros bring their own drinks onto the courts. But they are not ordinary drinks. They're always these weird colors. There are coolers court-side with water bottles and sports drinks. So what is it that they need to bring themselves that isn't already on court?

A. Players have their favorite concoctions that they like to drink, and usually these contain electrolytes. Sometimes it may simply be that they are seeking a drink that is flavored to their tastes. A primary reason that they bring their own is that the drink companies that sponsor tournaments are not always in line with each player’s tastes. Professional athletes are certainly particular about what they put into their bodies.

Q. During a match I see the pros drinking out of 2 different containers, one seems to be water, what is the other. Do you need to drink something along with water during a match?

A. The professional players typically sip on an energy replacement drink as well as water on changeovers. Whether you choose to do this might depend more on your individual preference than anything else. They are playing, and practicing, a LOT though, so their needs are typically different than a recreational player.

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