Position Statement on Nutritional Supplements:

The LTA has a food first approach for players at all levels when advising on how to nutritionally support themselves for health and performance optimisation. Food First, is relying on food as your source of nutrition, before considering supplements. This is the common approach taken and supported by sports nutritionists at the English Institute of Sport and governing bodies accross the country. This includes the following: 

  1. Players of all ages and standards will benefit from good hydration, a balanced tennis-orientated diet, well organised training and a healthy lifestyle. Supplement use is discouraged for u18 players unless deemed necessary by medical or nutritional staff and is to be evaluated on an individual basis.
  2. If considering using a supplement players should consider the effectiveness and quality of the product very carefully. A plethora of supplements exist with outlandish claims supported by weak evidence. Additionally, supplements can be subject to manufacturing contamination or have prohibited substances hidden on an ingredient list by using alternative names.
    It is therefore crucial that any product used has undergone a quality assurance programme from a certified authority such as Informed Sport. Informed Sport is a risk management programme that tests sports supplements for The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) prohibited substances by analysing raw materials, manufacturing processes and batch testing end products.
  3. There can however be NO guarantee that a supplement is free from prohibited substances. A strict liability ruling is associated to a positive test, regardless of intent. This means that each player is solely responsible for any prohibited substance found in their body regardless of how it got there and whether or not there was any intention to cheat. An anti-doping violation can result in a ban from sport of up to four years.

Find out more about how tennis players prepare for competition by reading this article produced by Healthspan and the LTA nutritionist.