One of the most common questions I get asked about cricket nutrition is: "what should I eat on playing days?"
While there is a simple template, it's a difficult question to answer.
Players have different nutritional needs and play longer or shorter versions of the games.
That said, there are certain things everyone can do to make sure they are getting the right fuel at the right time.
1. Don't wait until match day to eat well. Follow the 10 rules of good cricket nutrition all week, not just on Saturdays.
2. Have access to a steady supply of energy. It's important to keep your body supplied with enough blood glucose. Snack regularly and use energy/recovery drinks through the day.
3. Don't try to carb load. Stocking up on excess pasta, bread, potatoes and cereal is not needed and can lead to problems.
So what does a typical English club cricket day (assuming a 2pm start with tea around 5pm) look like if you follow these rules? Something like this:
• BatBatF - Top 6 batsman with the team batting first.
• BwlBatF - Front line bowler with the team batting first.
• BatBwlF - Top 6 batsman with the team bowling first.
• BwlBwlF - Front line bowler with the team bowling first.
• Anytime - A whole food meal that follows the 10 rules.
• Snack - A bar or meal replacement shake that contains protein, good fats and good quality carbs.
• Drink - A workout/recovery/sports drink that contains carbs, low to zero fat and ideally protein.
• Tea - A whole food meal or snack that follows the 10 rules and contains good quality carbs.
• PWO - A whole food meal that follows the 10 rules for after exercise.
You can replace a drink with a snack at any point if you feel you have the time to eat it. Like you have already batted or are unlikely to bat.
Remember this is flexible depending on where you bat and bowl and how much chance you have to eat or drink. This is just a framework to customise rather than a hard and fast rule.
For more snacks and meals that are easy to prepare, pick up a copy of Precision Nutrition.
by David Hinchliffe, PitchVision Academy
© 2011 miSport Ltd