What do cricket players eat and drink? | Cricket coaching, fitness and tips

What do cricket players eat and drink?

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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.

  1. Eat every 2-3 hours, no matter what. You should eat between 5-8 meals per day.
  2. Eat complete lean protein with each meal.
  3. Eat fruits and/or vegetables with each food meal.
  4. Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables (Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals).
  5. 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).
  6. Drink only non-calorie containing beverages, the best choices being water and green tea.
  7. 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.

More free nutrition tips at Dr. John Berardi's website.

© Copyright miSport Holdings Ltd 2008

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Eh... after reading it...do you really have to eat 5-8 times a day? Every 3 hours? Is this really necessary? Seems... not used to me. But if it really is the best way... okay, maybe i'll give it a try.

You don't HAVE to do anything, but it's a good place to start yes.

Do you have to follow the low-carbs/calories principals even If you are underweight?

First thing I would say is that this is not a low calorie system. In fact calories are not counted at all.

It's not really low carb either. It's lower in starchy carbs (bread, pasta, potatoes) but you can still eat them as long as you do so after exercise. You can get plenty of carbs from vegetables and fruit.

If you are following the 7 rules perfectly for 2-4 weeks and then want to gain weight you might want to add in some whole food starchy carbs too.

i want to increase my weight along with muscle strength... so are the supplements containg protein & carbs. is good 4 me

Can you rephrase the question please? I'm not sure I understand it.

what are some ways i can get into a habbit of eating well and motivating yourself to do it and i do cricket all the time i want to get fitter?

One really simple way is to track your progress. Make a list of rules then track how well you stick to them. You will be suprised how fast you become compliant.

Are you allowed sometimes to eat more often than every 2 hours (especially after school) because no matter how much ii eat i find that my weight remains stable. Im 13 and my weight is around the 55kg mark.

You could eat more than every two hours but more important is what you are eating and how much. Eating sweets every hour is not optimal for example.

Ok thanks David, by the way i love this website i am on it every night.

Great news Dean. I hope you enjoy it and if you have any suggestions just drop me an email.

Would this diet plan work well for international cricketers? e.g. Brett Lee?


Dear Sir,
I am Mayank Mukund Bhandare from a small town in the state of Maharashtra from India.I love cricket a lot and also practise the defensive techniques with my father every morning,after coming from a walk immediately.But Sir,I am 15 yrs.old and my height is 5'1 and I weigh 85 kgs.I am trying to reduce my weight a bit by walking and tongue control.My father has advised me a lot about the nutrition required for a fit body.And I am following this everyday.I am on a daily diet.But Sir,inspite of fruits and green vegetables and plenty of water,pleas suggest me a few nutritionary meals.

If you can afford it, the Precision Nutrition system is excellent and has a whole cookbook of ideas.

hi i would like to know if cricketers are advised to eat jelly babies or have chewing gum or ant sugary sweets before, after or during the game. does it help with their energy? thanks. would appreciate a reply asap.

There are better options for energy, especially for the club and school players. It all starts with a sensible diet, if you eat well you should have no need for the extra energy burst of sweets. That said, if you like them and you are not the type to put on weight by eating sweets then why not?

Hi there im planning on going to Australia in september as an overseas but at the moment im unfit. i have emailed every single county cricket lub asking for dietry plans but not one has emailed back ! just wondering what are the best things for a fast bowler to eat and drink ? if you have the time could you please email me eating plans for a fast bowler ? ryansheep3@aol.com
Thanks for your time i will greatly appreciate this
Sam Ryan

Well, the 7 principles above are a great place to start. If you want exact food and recipies as well as a way to track your progress and motivate yourself then the only eating plan I recommend is Precision Nutrition by Dr. John Berardi. I use it and swear by it. It is expensive but when I bought it I knew I would never need anything else for the rest of my life, so when you look at it like that it's a bargain.

HI,m 17 yrs.m from kolkata,west bengal.1 month a go.i examined an injury in my shoulders....and it caused swelling in that region...after that i consulted a doctor and he gave me vitamin pills and an injection....is it appropriate for a player?

Good article. Can this nutrition plan also be applied to (cricket-playing) growing children/teenagers?

This is the first time I have come across a nutrition plan for sportspeople which is low in (starchy) carbs. Everywhere else I look, the usual recommendation is to eat decent amounts of carb all through the day (preferably from whole sources), so as to keep energy levels high and muscle glycogen replenished. What are the cricketing benefits of this nutrition plan that you are advocating?

I can field that one - Unless you are particularly skinny, for a lower impact sport like cricket, carbs are almost unneccessary. Once your body has exhausted them, it'll first use excess protein and then fat as an energy source.

As left over protien tends to be converted to lean muscle, the modern theory is to go carb light.

Thanks Matt, I would add by saying cricket is not an endurance sport. It's stop-start, even long innings at a high level have plenty of breaks. That said, there is no need to go low or zero carb. (rule 4 says Ensure that your carbohydrate intake comes from fruits and vegetables (Exception: workout and post-workout drinks and meals)) so there is plenty of scope for eating starchy and even sugary carbs around play and training times. But the myth of 'carb loading' is dying around those who know about nutrition for cricket.

Of course there are exceptions to this rule, but most people would do better with a lower carb diet (say about 30%) as we don't need 'reserves' as much as we think to play cricket. Take a browse through the nutrition section for more information.

Every athletic has their own way of going through a diet plan. Most concentrate on protein, some even concentrate on carbs and fat. I was at a restaurant one day and a group of cricket players from Bangladesh came in. It seemed like they didn't care what they were eating, the just started to order anything that looked good.

Really Useful for everyone

plz sir solve my problem cricket player full day rutine life diet fitness exersise not accept food all detail send me

goodevening sir my age is 22 is my height is 5'.2' isit the height required for playuing cricket in domestic level or there is chest length required

hey thanks , for they very nice tips, i think these are good tips, but i think that these tips are not good for non-sports person, only sports people should use eat every 2 ,3 hours and a balanced diet as well. balanced diet is very essential to a healthy body, sleep is also needed.

am harry i am playing cricket please teal me about what i eat in day what is good food for me

chewing/eating strength-giving items should not be allowed. SriLankan players always eat something while playing, may be, not to get tired. The concerned cricket authorities should take a note of it and immediately ban chewing/eating before and while playing.