Cricket Training and Nutrition
Why is nutrition so important for cricket players?
As an athlete in challenging hot conditions for extended periods, proper nutrition is important to prevent injury, cramping, fatigue and dehydration. Eating and taking the correct supplements will help you train and prepare your body for the endurance side of the game. The more prepared you are the less likely you will get injured.
Although cricket is primarily a summer sport, pre-season training typically starts in the cooler winter and spring months of the year. The number of training sessions per week varies depending on the level of the athlete with younger athletes training 1-2 days per week (if at all) while at a senior elite level, athletes may train 5-6 days per week, usually more than once per day. Training sessions involved skill based tasks, fitness activities as well as weight training. Professional and elite development players often continue to follow a training plan over the off-season break
Common Nutrition Issues
Elite cricketers can have a busy training schedule with multiple sessions throughout the day. The intensity of sessions can range from low to very high. Cricketers therefore need to base their intake on a balance of nutrient-dense foods such as cereals, fruit, vegetables, low-fat dairy products, lean meat/poultry/fish or vegetarian alternatives. Food intake needs to be well timed to help promote recovery between sessions. Intake needs to be adjusted to match the activity level of each day with extra snacks being included around training on heavier days.Getting Nutrition Right
Match Day Nutrition
Cricketers do not know whether they will be batting or bowling on the first day of a match until approximately 45 minutes prior to start time. Consequently, they need to prepare for a match assuming they will be involved in their capacity on the first day. It is important for the players to begin the match appropriately hydrated given the often hot conditions and limited opportunities to drink fluids over the match. When the team does not provide the pre-match meal, players need to be planned and proactive in eating before competition and packing suitable snack options as the facilities at playing fields may not have appropriate options available. Ideally, the pre-match meal should include be based around quality carbohydrates, Whey Protein, Protein Bars and Fruit etc. The timing of the meal can be difficult; especially when the team bats first and players have no idea when they will be required to participate.
best supplements for cricket performance
Protein powder is a popular supplement amongst elite sportsman like professional cricket players. It provides high quality and a concentrated amount of protein in the form of powder. Protein powder is mixed with water or milk and consumed by drinking. It is made from either a plant or animal whole food product like milk or peas.
Protein powder is normally used by cricket players looking to increase their muscle mass and strength. It is also an easy snack to add to your diet if you’re struggling to hit your protein intake goals.
Different Types of Protein Powder for Cricketers
Protein powder is made from whole food products. There is a wide variety of protein powders that are produced from different whole foods. Below is a list of the best protein powders for cricket players:
Protein is essential for cricket players in order to promote recovery, muscle growth and repair and there is no other protein source that can compare with whey protein powder in terms quality, cost and convenience. For best results use Whey Protein, 30mins before your game or training session, and again as soon as possible after training/game and just before bed (Casein Protein best option for evening consumption).
Naturally found in muscle cells, Creatine helps your muscles produce energy during heavy lifting or high-intensity exercise. Taking creatine as a supplement is very popular among athletes and bodybuilders in order to gain muscle, enhance strength and improve exercise performance. For best results take before and after training or games, on Non training/game days take in morning and night.
Enhance performance by increasing exercise capacity and decreasing muscle fatigue. Beta-alanine helps reduce lactic acid build up in your muscles. It also has antioxidant, immune-enhancing and anti-aging properties. You can get beta-alanine from foods that contain carnosine or through supplements. The recommended dose is 2–5 grams daily. (Note: You may feel like your skin is getting pricked, this is not an allergic reaction, this is the effect of Beta-Alanine. Your body will get used to it, keep taking it.)
A popular supplement amongst athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. ZMA contains a combination of three ingredients — zinc, magnesium, and vitamin B6. ZMA helps boosts muscle growth and strength and improves endurance, recovery, and sleep quality. For best results, Take recommended dosage 30 – 60 mins before bed; don’t take it with any dairy products as the dairy will prevent your body of full absorbing the Zinc.
BCAAs are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA supplements are commonly taken in order to boost muscle growth and enhance exercise performance, you can consume BCAA’s throughout the day, during training, before and after and even as a replacement drink at night. BCAA’s don’t contain any stimulants (unless added by Manufacture) and have a very low sugar and calorie content. BCAA’s help aid in muscle recovery and tissue repair.
Vitamin D plays a significant role in the regulation of calcium and maintenance of phosphorus levels in the blood. These factors are vital for maintaining healthy bones. People need vitamin D to allow the intestines to stimulate and absorb calcium and reclaim calcium that the kidneys would otherwise excrete. For best results take in the morning and midday as taking in the evenings could interfere with your sleep patterns.
Probiotics contain live microorganisms that can support and enhance your healthy gut bacteria. Studies suggest daily probiotic supplements may reduce the incidence of gastrointestinal and upper respiratory tract infections for any level of rugby players. For best results take 30mins before meals.
Pre-workouts can defiantly help improve your performance and game, using the correct pre-workout will be vital as some pre-workouts will increase muscle pump and reduce legality. However using something that contains Beta-Alanine will ensure you perform at your absolute best.