Tips on what to eat and avoid Before & After your Important Game
Week before a cricket, Badminton or a football game, it’s important for the athlete to build his energy and muscles. Athletes need mostly 70% of carbohydrates for them to be able to perform at their highest level
The life of an athlete is filled with different nutrition and diets. There is nutrition for badminton players, cricketer’s diet, footballer’s diet chart and many more.
It's no surprise that such a scenario is playing itself out. Every athlete needs the required energy and hydration to last longer on the pitch. It doesn't matter whether you are a badminton player, a cricketer or a footballer, immediately the weather gets intense, and the pace of the game begins to get to you, you would wish you took those extra plates of pasta or have an energy drink soothing your nerves.
That is why, before, during and after the game nutritional and dietary plan is vital from the beginning.
Many teams are starting to find why it’s essential to have a well-prepared nutrition plan for their players, sometimes individually too. Players have different foods they are used to that help them get into gear in any game. If they are going to try something new, it should be during training to know how they feel.
A week before a cricket, badminton or a football game, it’s important for the athlete to build his energy and muscles. Athletes need mostly 70% of carbohydrate for them to be able to perform at their highest level because that is what the body quickly converts from glucose to energy for them to keep going.
Another nutrient athletes require daily is proteins. They help build muscles and repair the lost tissues during a batting or a bowling session for cricketers or a sprint for footballers.
Nutritional strategies also have to be employed when dealing with specific athletes in different types of sport. For example, a cricketer doesn't know if he is going to bowl or bat until 30-40 minutes before the game. If he is not prepared as if he is going to bat, he might end up not preparing adequately.
That is why they need foods that keep them in shape all the time to match the intensity of every training, goals of the season, their body size and their body composition goals.
The average athlete requires 2400-3000 caloric intakes every day because he runs about 10km daily performing one sprint or the other.
Cricket lasts between 3-7 hours depending on if you are playing for the T20, One day, or the test matches, which can last for days.
Football is almost the same. The consistent training sometimes twice a day or playing matches twice a week can take its toll on any human. Dieting is the only option to cushion the effects experienced by badminton players after a long day on the pitch and it’s so for other sports too.
Before the important game
An athlete is expected to reduce every amount of fats in his meals to avoid adding unnecessary weight gain or having intestinal problems. Complex carbs can be taken 3-4 hours before the game but not in a large quantity.
Lean proteins like fish, soft chickens, sandwich vegetables, fruits, sweet potatoes that are low in fat are advised to be taken by this time. Fat doesn't help the body hydrate very well when it comes to sports that is why is always avoided except when necessary an athlete can be made to eat saturated and unsaturated fats.
It is also important to detoxify your body before the game by taking smoothies as breakfast (i.e., if the game is not in the morning.)
Keep your body hydrated by taking enough of clean water. You will need it before looking for sports drinks when you are running low on energy.
If you are expecting a higher workload, whole grains, fruits, vegetables are necessary to have before any game. Otherwise, stick to higher proteins and lower carbs for a smaller workload.
During the important match
Various sports have their mode of breaking the game into different halves in other for athletes to replenish their energy. For a T20 match requiring a minimum of 20 overs, drinks and match breaks will be duly observed. It's the time for athletes to refill their tanks with carbohydrate snack bars and energy drinks.
Cricket and badminton players require 250-500ml of fluid, while for a footballer, 400ml-600ml of liquid is enough. It's expected of athletes to take at least 1-3 ounces of fluid every two minutes to fight off dehydration.
Badminton that requires the tossing of a shuttlecock, this means that the weight of the athlete should be maintained at all cost to enhance his serve in the game even if it means through fluid replenishment.
Electrolyte sports drinks are advised to be taken at this moment because they help the body retain and absorb fluid for better management of the hydration process.
For longer breaks like the test matches or One-day, lean meat, salads, smoothies are very much encouraged.
Artificial high sweeteners should be practically avoided.
Monitor your urine color to see if you are highly hydrated. It works before and during the game. Make it a habit to always monitor it. You never know when your body has released so much sweat.
Technology is even making it easier to determine the hydration level of any player at any point in time. However, to be on the safe side, check it yourself.
After the important matchThe processes of recovery after a game is a long one, but with the right application of various do’s and don’ts, an athlete can be quick and running in a few hours again. After the game, footballers, cricketers, and badminton players are looking to replace lost strength, not get fat. Do not overfeed them immediately after the game. Break up his feeding process by intervals of one or two hours.
Make sure he takes enough carbohydrate into his system. Push up lean protein from lean chicken, fish, salad, and fruits like banana, and melons that is full of water to help him replenish his strength.
Protein is critical at this moment because it’s the only nutrient that helps with the muscle and other tissues of the body that have been stretched thin recover. Foods like low-fat cheese, tomato sandwiches, dried fruits, seeds, and nuts can go a long way.
Avoid alcohol of any quantity during the recovery process. Rehydration, refueling and muscle repairs don't work very well when alcohol is in the system. It is common for players to start drinking after a game or a trophy is won. That can only increase the chances of inflaming the muscles.
Nutrients required by the body for an important game.
Everybody's body is not the same, so it's for athletes as well. A milkshake might sound like a standard way to get protein into your system, but for others, it might be causing gastrointestinal problems for them before the big game. To avoid this, nutritionist and dieticians are expected to try those foods out before the critical match. Before training, a careful application of meals should be selected that the players can try.
After the game, they can attest to the effect of the food and their performance.
Players get bored if they continually eat the same types of food every day. That is the primary reason why you have to try different delicacies producing the same result in other to change the variety of foods in the kitchen.
Football players are unique to manage because most times at club football, you have players from different nationalities in the team. At such times, it would be hard to match everybody's taste buds. However, as time goes on, the dietician will have to adapt.
Here are some nutrient that shouldn't be found missing in a player cabinet
1. Complex CarbohydrateUsually found in grains, cereals, and flour, Carbs are the meals everyone requires to have energy. Complex carbs, however, represent the healthiest of them all. Eating complex carbs mean players system easily converts them to work immediately they get into the body, which was why we recommended eating enough of it before the critical game.
2. Simple CarbohydratesVery easy to digest and kick into work, simple carbs like sweets, cakes, and soft drinks are what football players require at various intervals during the game and on breaks. They are easy to break down and don't stay long in the system.
3. Saturated FatsFats are essential for the body, but as an athlete, fat should be taken in moderation. The total number of fat that should be in an athlete’s body doesn't have any diagnoses yet. Some say an athlete should have at least 15% fat in their body while others differ.
4. Unsaturated FatsPolyunsaturated fats and monounsaturated fats all come with Omega 3 and Omega 6 acids that the muscles and tissues in an athlete’s body need to stay strong. Seeds and nuts are your best bet for finding it.
5. Vitamins and mineralsThe immune system of operation is dependent on fruits and vegetable to help the white blood cells. Fibers in some fruits can help cushion the tendency to overeat.
6. Iron and waterThey both help improve the strength of an athlete during games.
In conclusion, every sport is different, be it football, cricket or badminton so is every individual athlete. Nutritionists have to find the right balance between a player and his diet to get the best performance possible at all times.