A nutritional ergogenic aid (NEA) can help athletes optimize performance, but an evidence-based analysis is required in order to support training outcomes or competition performance in specific events. Racquet sports players are regularly exposed to a high-intensity workload throughout the tournament season. The activity during a match is characterized by variable durations (2–4 h) of repeated high-intensity bouts interspersed with standardized rest periods. Medline/PubMed, Scopus, and EBSCO were searched from their inception until February 2020 for randomized controlled trials (RCTs). Two independent reviewers extracted data, after which they assessed the risk of bias and the quality of trials. Out of 439 articles found, 21 met the predefined criteria: tennis (15 trials), badminton (three trials), paddle (one trial), and squash (two trials). Among all the studied NEAs, acute dosages of caffeine (3–6 mg/kg) 30–60 min before a match have been proven to improve specific skills and accuracy but may not contribute to improve perceived exertion. Currently, creatine, sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate, beetroot juice, citrulline, and glycerol need more studies to strengthen the evidence regarding improved performance in racquet sports.
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License
which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited