Price: $24 (12 bottles)
There’s an old tennis locker room saying (I just invented): You can never have enough mph on your serve, and you can never be too hydrated. The first part of the adage takes dedicated practice, but everybody can take the necessary steps to drink enough before playing. Trouble is guzzling water can be boring and soft drinks aren’t always the healthiest options.
Lemon Perfect is a refreshing, low-calorie beverage with zero sugar. Each bottle contains the juice from half a lemon, 25mg of potassium and natural sweeteners. But unless you’re just after fluids on court it probably doesn’t qualify as a sports drink. You may need to add some salt and carbs to make it through a long match.
However, if the requirements are a tasty thirst-quencher that’s not full of a lot of junk, it certainly fits the bill. I’m partial to the simple Just Lemon flavor, but it also comes in the more exotic Dragon Fruit Mango, Blueberry Acai and Peach Raspberry.
Sweat pouring down your shirt during a workout can feel great. Sweat pouring into your eyes when you’re lining up a passing shot on break point? Not so much. NoSweat hat liners are like Tourna Grip for your head. The disposable moisture wicking liner sweat stopper sticks to the forehead band inside a hat or visor. The SweatLock technology soaks up perspiration flowing from the head and helps eliminate nasty ring stains and odors.
When I tried it out, the liner did make the hat slightly tighter, and in need a small size increase. But it was a minor inconvenience to keep the sweat out of my eyes and the hat more hygienic. I also managed a couple of uses before swapping it out for a new one. NoSweat liners are also available for several other sports including football, hockey and biking.
Price: $18/5-can Discovery Pack; $55/case
For many players, there’s nothing better than the post-match adult beverage. However, downing a few IPAs is generally not the best recovery protocol. For those who want some of the taste of beer without the undesired side effects—or those who abstain from alcohol entirely—Partake Brewery has some worthy options.
The Canadian beer company was started to bring the discerning tastes of craft beer to the non-alcoholic audience. All the flavors are here: Blonde, Pale, IPA, Red and Stout. And, while not quite as robust as their alcoholic counterparts, taste remarkably like one of the family. And do they ever go down easy. For those watching their waistlines or adhering to a strict diet, the brews are as low as 10 calories and zero carbs.
An added bonus is there has been research that non-alcoholic beer is actually an effective sports recovery drink thanks to its high polyphenol content and anti-inflammatory properties. A 2018 New York Times article documented its positive impact on the German winter Olympic team, who prefer it over Gatorade. Not a shabby option to add to the post-match cooler.
Racquet: The Book
Not many magazines can claim a “Spiritual Adviser” on its masthead. But the thoughtful, long-form journalism and stylish art and photography in Racquet capture the soul of the game and those who play and love it. The quarterly independent magazine was founded in 2016 to give voice to the stories, personalities and heritage that celebrate the sport’s unique culture.
This anthology compiles some of the most compelling features from the magazine’s first three years of publication, composed by some of the most talented writers covering the sport (including tennis.com's Joel Drucker and Stephen Tignor). Topics tackled include: Andre Aggasi’s private jet, comparing Arthur Ashe with Muhammad Ali, whether tennis would be better as a full-time indoor sport and what a pro player can learn from Philip Roth. Great for some late summer reading and a must for any tennis lover’s bookshelf.
Racquets, strings and shoes are all important, but there’s arguably no more valuable piece of equipment than a player’s eyes. And unlike your other gear, they can’t be replaced. So, they need protection, especially if you’re competing frequently under the sun.
It took three years of research and development, collaboration with optics experts ZEISS, and countless hours of testing with tennis, pickleball and squash players to produce the RIA One sunglasses. The 100% UV ray protection (UV400) of the shield style lenses are shatterproof, impact, scratch and smudge resistant, and don’t fog up in sticky conditions. The feathery (1 oz.) frames—available in six different color combinations—have hydrophilic temple tips and provide a secure, comfortable and unobtrusive fit.
The only adjustment I had to allow for was the nosepiece, which ceases to be much of a distraction after a few playing sessions. The tint of the cobalt blue mirror lens has been developed to make the ball pop. Yet, if eliminating glare isn’t a priority and you want more visible light, a clear lens with the same protective qualities is included and can be easily inserted with the swap and lock lens system.