Fit for Cricket

From the 14th Februry to the 29th March, Austalia and New Zealand will be hosting the 11th Cricket World Cup in 2015. 14 teams are playing in a total of 49 matches, with an impressive 14 venues split between the two countries.

This will be the second time that the Australasians have hosted the World Cup, their first being in 1992, and the honour was awarded back in 2006 when the countries placed their bid for the 2011 games. 26 of the matches will be held in Australia, 23 in New Zealand, and the hotly-contested final game will be in Melbourne.

ICC-Cricket-World-Cup-2015While cricket games usually mean beer, sweets and snacks for the audience, the players themselves unfortunately need to take their eating habits a little more seriously. So if you want to eat like a pro-cricketer, here is your guide.

The needs of individual team members can vary quite drastically – for example, fast bowlers will need to consume more energy per match, and players who may spend long periods of time sat down are more likely to put on weight if their eating and drinking habits are not monitored.

Hydration is very important, especially when the sun is beating down – in order to ensure that you’re staying hydrated through exercise, you should weigh yourself before and after any matches. For every kg of weight lost, a litre of fluids has been lost. A cricketer can lose as much as a litre of water in an hour – twice as much if the weather is hot and humid!

Nutritionists suggest that players fuel up with a big meal 2-4 hours before the match, giving it plenty of time to settle in your stomach. An hour or two before playing, a high carbohydrate snack like a banana or sandwich will help to boost your energy levels throughout the match. Snacks which are high in carbohydrates but low in fat should be consumed between plays and while waiting on the side.

When playing a match, cricketers are encouraged to bring their own healthy snacks with them, in order to resist the temptation of the venue’s snacks of pies and ice lollies. When the match is over, the players should aim to eat a recovery meal within thirty minutes, which should be high in carbohydrates and protein.

If they want to consume alcohol after the match (as many of us do), it should only be after the recovery meal has been consumed, usually including a whole grain for carbohydrate storage and lean protein for muscle repair.

For a quick post-cricket booster, try this easy smoothie. You will need:

  • SONY DSC2 cups of almond milk
  • 1 large tablespoon of nut butter
  • 2 frozen bananas
  • Any extras, such as cacao, egg, chia or flax seed

When you make a smoothie, always start off with the liquid ingredients, move onto the soft parts and then finally any hard or frozen additions. Mix all these together and you’ve got the protein and carbohydrates necessary to keep going tomorrow!

If you are simply watching a match, make sure that you are taking in enough water so as to stop from being dehydrayted. This is just as important when you’re sat down in the hot sun as when you’re playing!