Food and cricket performance goes hand in hand. That's a principle Mike Boyle pressed home to me in our recent discussion.
Studies have shown that eating and drinking right can make a significant difference to how well you train and how much endurance you have on the pitch.
What does 'eating right' look like?
For Dr. John Beradi, a leading writer and sports nutritionist, it boils down to just 7 things to do:
These aren't the newest techniques from the latest cutting-edge plan. Rather, they are simple, time-tested, no nonsense habits that you need to get into when designing a good eating program.
- Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.
- Eat complete lean protein with each meal.
- Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.
- Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables (Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals).
- Ensure that 25-35% of your energy intake comes from fat, with your fat intake split equally between saturates (e.g. animal fat), monounsaturates (e.g., olive oil), and polyunsaturates (e.g. flax oil, salmon oil).
- Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.
- Eat mostly whole foods (except workout and post-workout drinks).
If you aren't already practising the above-mentioned habits, and by practising them I mean putting them to use over 90% of the time (i.e., no more than 4 meals out of an average 42 meals per week violate any of those rules), everything else is pretty pointless.
You may have noticed these tips are a little different from my previous recommendations. But I'm changing my mind (hey, it's allowed). In fact, I have been following a similar eating plan myself for over a year now with great results.
Previously I always believed this stuff was important for heath, not performance on the field, but evidence to the contrary has changed my outlook.
Combined with a well planned fitness and skills based programme, these 7 rules are vital to follow if you want to be stronger, have more endurance and play better cricket. The last thing you want to do is waste all that great training by not eating right.
Pin these tips to the tea room and kitchen wall. It might be the single best thing you do to help your season.