It’s no secret that in the effort to squeeze every drop of talent from themselves – and gain a lucrative IPL contract – professional cricketers are turning to protein shakes and creatine.
It makes sense to look after your body when it’s your livelihood.
But does the average club player need such attention to detail?
Supplements are simple, cheap and effective for most everyone.
If you follow the advice here to the letter.
Because you have to learn to do it right: you can’t just pop down to your local health food shop to stock up on HyperMaxxGroww 3000 before the village cricket game.
So what should you do as a cricketer when it comes to supplements?
Know the place of supplements
Before you even start you have to know what job supplements are doing for you.
Different people have different aims. Some will be looking to the professional game and want to improve performance while other people will be happy being injury-free and healthy.
Or maybe you want both.
Whatever you want there is a supplement that - when combined with a healthy diet - will make a difference.
And it won’t make you bulk up.
Supplements for cricketers that work
I’m not a nutritionist, but I have looked at the research and tested many supplements myself. Here is my list of ones that are proven to work for cricketers at any level.
For that reason I’m sticking to general supplements that most people will feel a benefit:
- Fish oil. 3-5g daily of combined EPA/DHA is good for the brain (especially concentration levels) and joints, reducing soreness and pain. It also has proven preventative effects on heart disease. Everyone should take it whether they play cricket for their country or in a country field.
- Vitamin D. The sunshine vitamin is a secret beauty. It’s cheap because it can’t be patented by drug companies and the proven range of benefits goes from prevention of diseases to boosting athletic performance. 1,000ui in a pill is so cheap you barely notice the cost too.
- Creatine. Despite the myths about kidneys and that it is for “bulking”, creatine is an everyman supplement too. It will boost your strength and speed as a cricketer (when combined with strength training), and is important in helping you retain everyday strength as you get older and more doddery. There is also some research pointing to creatine as a preventer of some neurological diseases. Avoid it if you have liver or kidney issues, but otherwise go for 5g a day.
An honourable mention should go to protein powder (without added sugars) for an easy way to get extra protein through the day.
And don’t forget, all this is a waste if you take supplements and just eat at McDonalds. You have to have a decent diet with lots of whole food, fruit and veg, complete protein and healthy fats.
So even if you just manage one game a season, and it’s a friendly, you will still benefit from supplements.
You just have to find a way to explain to everyone who sees your supps drawer that you are not bodybuilding.
Everyone always assumes that.