A well nutritious diet is essential for every fitness regime. Cricket is a day-long sport where a nutritious diet plays a vital role in providing sufficient energy to play for the entire day. Hence, eating the right food at right time can help boost an athlete’s performance whereas a wrong diet can slow them down. The intake of food should be according to the following principles -
Cricketers must have an energy-flooded nutritious diet filled with carbohydrate, lean protein and low fat. The diet should also include lots of veggies and fruits. They also need to avoid calorie-rich beverages such as colas and energy drinks or any oily food loaded with fats. Excess fat drains the energy of the players and makes them sluggish.
Some of the preferred food items include sandwich filled with lean protein, vegetables and fruits. Stuffed omelette, rolls made from whole wheat, yoghurt, pasta, porridge with low-fat milk, etc. are also some ideal pre-match food items. Cricketers should have a balanced diet, around 2 to 4 hours before their cricket match. The players must eat at regular intervals, i.e. in every 2 to 3 hours before their big day.
On match day, cricketers should have their breakfast to have a fair amount of energy for their upcoming challenge. Some healthy breakfast meal includes smoothies with fruits and they should avoid energy drink and chocolate bars. The players should drink 5 to 7 ml of water per kg of their total body weight or any other healthy drink hours before the match and training.
During the match, hydration plays a vital role. Players should sip water or sports drinks around 250 to 500 ml at regular intervals. During the breaks, they should have energy-derived food such as bananas that are high in phosphorus and provide high energy. At any cost, no player should consume alcohol before their match.
The intake of food after those hectic and tedious matches is very crucial. The food should provide a surplus of energy that is required to replenish the lost energy of players. Players should consider having lean chicken, salad wraps and low-fat cheese along with complex carbohydrates such as meat sauce, yoghurt, milky drinks, smoothies and dry fruits for better recovery.
Sports drinks or any other beverage filled with electrolytes are better substitutes against all the dehydration caused due to sweating. Sometimes, players have drinks after the matches, but alcohol interferes negatively with the recovery process, especially in soft tissue injury healing. Hence, players should make sure that they are optimally hydrated with fluids and electrolytes along with a pre-snack.
After reading the article, we hope you have a clear picture of the importance of a balanced diet before and after a cricket match. Thus it is wise to say -
"Pre-match nutrition is necessary for performance, whereas the post-match meal is necessary for progress".
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