The 2016 U.S. Open is taking over Queens, New York, for the next two weeks and we could not be more excited! The greatest tennis players in the world will bring their best game for the chance of a lifetime. We love the upsets, cheering on the champs, and just watching the game be played at the highest level. So when you watch over the next several days and think there is nothing that you could possibly have in common with the Williams sisters, Nadal, or Djokovic, remember this—even athletes at this level struggle with muscle cramps.
According to the USTA, tennis players generally experience cramps due to muscle fatigue and dehydration or loss of electrolytes. As with other sports, athletes may also cramp after competition—even a few hours afterward. Whether you’ll be on the courts playing for a trophy or playing a game with friends, prevention and preparedness are key to avoiding and treating cramps. Here are a few tips we’d like to offer to tennis players fighting cramps:
- Train with your goals in mind – With any sport, you’ve got to keep your goal in mind on training days. As competition day gets nearer, how you train for that goal changes. Make sure you don’t work your muscles so hard in the days leading up to competition that they’re drained half way through your first match. Taper your training leading up to competition. This will preserve energy stores, keep your muscles primed for optimum performance, and reduce the risk that training fatigue will contribute to cramping.
- Keep tabs on your nutrition and hydration – Make healthy and reasonable choices at the table that will help and not hinder on the court. If you know that sodium loss is an issue for you, compensate in the day leading up the competition. Don’t overdo or try any exotic dish at the last minute, but make sure you’ve taken in ample sodium for the sweaty day ahead. Keep a sports drink on hand instead of plain water, or add a salt tablet to your bottle to make sure you’re getting what you need.
- Stretch it out – Athletes of all stripes are susceptible to muscle cramps. Your thigh suddenly writhing in spasms is not indication of your proficiency, so don’t try to muscle through it. Stretch the affected muscle, but don’t go too far. It is tempting as the pain eases to stretch a bit further—if a little helps, imagine what a lot can do, right? As with warmup and cooldown stretches, overextending yourself is never a good idea.
- HOTSHOT – HOTSHOT is the only product scientifically proven to both prevent and treat muscle cramps. To avoid cramps, down the spicy shout 20-30 minutes before you train or compete. If a cramp does strike, gulp another HOTSHOT for quick relief. Not only is our product lactose and gluten free, but we’re also NSF Certified for Sport, meaning we’re also free of the banned substances you hear so much about.
Whether you’re a tennis pro or just tuning in to prep for the water cooler conversations, we can all agree that the U.S. Open is one of our finest sporting traditions. The suspense and constant action of the game are enough to keep you on the edge of your seat all match long. Playing pro or at the community courts, there is more than enough going on in competition without muscle cramps trying to join the game. HOTSHOT is for anyone looking to step-up and compete cramp free. You can order yours here. You can also keep in touch with us by following us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. To all those competing in Queens, good luck!
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