Cricket Player’s Diet: WHAT DO CRICKETERS EAT?Nuturemite
SPORTS DIET: CRICKET
Cricket is a game which needs both strength and attentiveness. Top-level cricketers will go to the gym and train with cardiovascular equipment as well as with weights two or three times per week. In addition to this, they train in cricket nets and play a game four or five times per week. Gaining excellence in cricket therefore consumes enormous time and energy, so a well-structured nutrition program is the need of the hour for you. It doesn’t only keep you fit and energized for a long game, but it also increases concentration, and hence maximizes your skill potential.
It is very well known that the diet of the sportsperson needs to be very much balanced so that their body remains fit and their stamina remains intact. So, here are some tips that would make your diet to be perfect for a cricketer. Cricket doesn’t only need fitness, but concentration too. So, a nutrition program that will not only keep you fit but also keep you energized, is the need of the hour. Let’s look at the meal plan that a cricketer should follow.
Breakfast is the first meal of the day. So, this needs to be the most energized meal. To complete the breakfast requirements, cricketers can take a bowl of porridge, which is made with jumbo oats. Milk is a necessity and 200ml of skimmed milk must be taken. Water can be taken with one tsp of sugar. Instead of this, 250ml of fruit juice can be considered.
INSTANTLY AFTER THE WORKOUT:
You should not eat immediately after the workout. What can be taken is 25g of dextrose mixed in water and 25g whey protein powder.
HALF AN HOUR AFTER THE WORKOUT:
Either take any fruit item or some fruit drink. You can even go for 2-3 oatcakes which have low-fat soft cheese.
For the lunch you can have some options which include sandwiches made from granary bread, the mixed salad comes as an option. Yogurt with low fat and sugar can be taken. Lean ham or chicken with spread which is olive oil-based. One can even go for mixed nuts and seeds, the quantity being 100g.
Drink plenty of drink so that it keeps you hydrated throughout the practice sessions.
Again you can have a fruit item with a fruit drink, mixed nuts with a quantity as low as 100g. low-fat soft cheese oatcakes, 2-3 in number.
Chicken breast, fish, or chicken can be eaten. It will provide you with enough energy. Make sure that you intake loads of vegetables in your evening meal, roasted sweet potatoes(dry), rice is a necessity. Low-fat yogurt which has no extra added sugar can be taken.
PRE BED MEAL:
One hour before you go to sleep, you may have some drink, mixed nuts(plentiful). To complete your fruit requirement, eat a banana if needed. Yogurt which has low fat can be eaten.
All these tips can help you in maintaining a balanced diet for yourself, which will keep your energy, stamina, and hence confidence high.
A GENERALISED VIEW
- Cricketers should eat between 5-8 meals per day i.e. every 2-3 hours.
- Most of the time, the whole of the food should be consumed.
- Try to drink green tea and water mostly. Apart from this, you can try the drinks which have no calories.
- Ensure taking fruits and vegetables every time you have a meal.
- Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of carbohydrates which are essential for your body.
KEEP YOURSELF HYDRATED
500ml of water before 30mins of the game should prove to be very helpful. Not only before the game, even during the game, but sips of 150-200 ml water every 15-20 minutes will also keep your energy boosted.
A carbo-protein drink after one hour of play is recommended.
Fluid needs of the body also vary with the position of the player, the playing style, and of course, the weather. The fluid losses of individuals should be monitored, as even a small amount of fluid loss can impact the performance of the player.
PRIOR TO THE MATCH
As is known that the cricketers do not know whether they will be batting or bowling in the game that is supposed to be held in some hours. So, while collecting energy for the game, they should get their stomachs full, but not overfull. A full meal before 2-3 hours of the match is recommended as it allows time for digestion. It should be noted that the food should be low on fat because fat slows the process of digestion which can lead to an upset tummy during the match.
The body should be hydrated before the game. Signs of a perfectly hydrated body? Pale yellow urine.
DURING THE MATCH
Carbohydrates are known for increasing concentration and allow the brain to maintain motivation during the match. Also, since while playing, the body may go dehydrated, so, the fluid losses should be replaced and the body should be kept cool during the breaks.
You can use your own separate bottle to keep a check on the amount of water taken by you. For keeping the water cool, you may add ice to bottles. To keep the body warm, use wet towels around the neck.
During the game, if you are waiting to bat, have some easily digested snacks such as:
- Sushi rolls
- Fruit fresh
- Flavoured milk, etc.
AFTER THE GAME
The meals you take after the game should include more carbohydrates colored vegetables, fluids to replace the sweat losses.
- Chicken and vegetable stir-fry on rice or noodles.
- Jacket potato with lean mince topping
- Greek yogurt with blueberries and muesli.
FOR YOUNG CRICKETERS
Since young cricketers are so full of energy and enthusiasm and hence they need proper food habits to keep this energy as it is. If you are not eating proper food, it doesn’t matter how much enthusiastic you are, or how much good you want to play, if your body is not supporting you, it would definitely be reflected in your game, which you obviously do not want.
So, the tips for you are:
Eat heavy breakfast, because it is the first meal of your day and hence it needs to be the heaviest, as it contributes to providing the basic energy. Breakfast time should be around 8-11 a.m.
lunch is the second meal. This should also be heavy, but maybe lighter than the breakfast. The time for it should be around 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.
Dinner is the last but the most important meal of the day. It should be lighter than breakfast and lunch. The dinner time should be before 8 p.m. so that you would get at least 3 to 4 hours to get it digested.
NEED OF A PERFECT DIET
One needs to understand the nutritional factors affecting performance, reconstruction of muscles and strength, a knowledge of how much nutrition does food or fluid has is needed. Also, one must know very well how they can include these nutritional strategies in their daily training and match sessions. A cricketer must have a flexible diet plan, which should be nutritious and which has the ability to be changed according to the special situations( if the training load changes, if you want to change the body composition, or if you have a special competition around). If you are taking a good base diet, it will provide you with sufficient energy and nutrients that help you with enhancing the adaptation with changing training load, recovers your lost muscles, and avoid excessive food-related stress. If you are training heavy, you will have the need for nutrients, particularly carbohydrate, protein, vitamins, and minerals.
These increased requirements
- provides adequate total energy (kilojoules)
- balances carbohydrate intake with daily exercise loads
- Includes a wide variety of protein-rich food.
FOR FAST BOWLERS
Consume more good fat and lean protein:
We generally tend to eat more protein but they usually come with high saturated fat. You can go for chicken, tuna, or lean cuts of beef. It can be combined with avocados, olive oil, and mixed nuts. This fills you up and hence allows you to lose weight without losing the positive health effects
Try to have more vegetables in your diet:
vegetables provide energy and essential nutrients and keep your health perfect. Do not eat a large portion of vegetables with each meal. Eat small chunks of it every 2-3 hours. This will provide more energy and prevents you from gaining extra fat.
Cut the carbohydrates:
foods rich in carbohydrates such as bread, chocolate, pasta, etc, should be eaten once a day at most if you want to build your stamina. You can have carbs combined with protein before and during the training. It keeps up your energy levels.
ACTUAL SCHEDULE OF THE CRICKETERS
A typical day in a Test match is usually divided into 3 sessions. After the game of two hours, the players go for their lunch break, and then after another two hours of playing, they go for their tea break.
The food that the players eat during these breaks is very important because whatever they eat, they have to sweat it out in the field. Before taking the field in the morning, what players have for breakfast, their most important meal of the day, is crucial. Their breakfast generally consists of a bowl of cereal, pasta, fruit, or a sandwich along with cold meat, salads, jam, or peanut butter. The need remains not to get too full and also to gain energy. Then they begin their morning session.
After the game of 2 hours or we can say, after completing the 30 overs, the players go for a lunch break. Lunch is a really nice spread. It usually consists of 3 to 5 dishes, including vegetables, potato wedges, and pulses for vegetarian players and chicken, lamb, and fish for meat lovers, along with different types of bread.
Usually taken about 2 hours after lunch, at tea, players usually take lots of water to keep themselves hydrated for the last session of the match. And it happens off-the-field now. Although being called tea, most of the players like to have a nice cup of coffee with some easily digestible snack, which keeps them pumped up for the match.
This helps them stay active for the last session. The food served to the players is perfect for them as it is prepared by the best chefs around the globe and hence it has an adequate amount of nutrients present in it.
Since the test match is continued for five days, it becomes very important for the players to recover the lost nutrients. Thus, to replace the lost nutrients, they usually take sandwiches and yogurt, and some high carbohydrate food, within one hour of the match end.
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