Should cricketers load up on carbs for extra energy? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

Should cricketers load up on carbs for extra energy?

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Even as a pre-harrowdrive teenager I knew that carbs gave you energy. I had heard about long distance runners loading up on the bread and copied the stamina-booting technique.

I figured more carbohydrates means more energy to perform on the pitch. I filled my face with delicious pasta.

Science was on my side too. My degree course showed me that carbohydrate loading does indeed boost stamina levels in endurance athletes. As club cricket usually lasts all day the analogy fit perfectly.

Turns out I was wrong.

Cricket is more of a power sport than an endurance based one. So while a certain level of carbs are needed for fuel, to overload has negative effects:

  • Excess carbs are stored as fat so loading up every week will slow you down.
  • High sugar carbs can cause a crash in blood sugar after a couple of hours, which will lead to a drop in energy levels on the pitch.

As you know, I still don't think carbs are the enemy. They are a great source of fuel. Just avoid doing what I did and stay away from carb loading unless you are a long distance runner.

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so what is the best thing to eat buliding up to a game to ensure your playing levels and strength levels are maintained throughout the day?

Ash, great question. Do you mean in the days before a game or on the day of the match?