Back in the days of Boon, Hughes and Marsh, a drink in Cricket was considered a beer; now in the age of professional Cricket players, there is science leading the hydration guidelines for cricketers.
For young cricketers, water should be the primary drink of choice. Players should always have a water bottle with them, which is refilled at least a few times during the day andmore on training days or in hot weather.
Recent research looking at young athletes’ drinking habits showed a good ability to consume fluids during training or a match provided fluids were accessible. Younger athletes were poor at general hydration leading up to training and also drinking for recovery after training. The researchers commented the athletes were turning up to training or games poorly hydrated and were not sufficiently consuming fluids after the training session or match.
There are now many drinks marketed for their health benefits and ability to enhance sporting performance. So how do you tell the real deal from the hype?
This is the drink of choice all day long, every day. Aim for at least 1.5 litres per day for children and encouraging more on training and match days.
Sports Drinks e.g. Gatorade, Powerade
These drinks are specially formulated for use during vigorous and long duration activity. Cricketers may need to use sports drinks during matches on hot and humid days. Water should still be the predominant drink with sips of sports drink during more vigorous activity e.g. bowlers, during/after batting.
Sports Waters e.g. H2Go
These drinks are simply sweetened water and are not indicated for sports performance.
Vitamin-Enhanced Drinks e.g. Vitamin water
Sweetened water with added vitamins and minerals holds no performance advantage for Cricket.
Soft drinks have a very high sugar content and can contribute to weight gain if drunk in large quantities or too frequently. Save for special occasions only.
Energy Drinks e.g. V, Red Bull, Mother
Energy drinks are simply soft drink with added caffeine or a derivative such as Guarana. These drinks are not associated with enhanced sporting performance and may be dangerous in young athletes as they can cause increased heart rate, agitation and shaking.
Iced Tea and Cordial
Sugar added to water based drinks may enhance the flavour of the water but do not assist young cricketers to improve their performance. Too many sweet drinks can contribute to excess weight.
So grab that water bottle, keep it topped up with cool water and watch your Cricket performance be hit for 6!
Match Day Nutrition
On a match day it is very important that players have enough fuel (energy) to perform optimally. Not enough energy can result in fatigue, poor skill execution, poor concentration and overall, reduced performance on the field.
The physical requirements of cricket vary greatly due to the player’s position, which means that nutritional requirements also vary from individual to individual. Batsmen, bowlers (especially fast bowlers) and wicket keepers who are more active and spend more time on the field will need more energy than outfielders or those on the bench.
What should I eat?
Days leading up to the match
Consume a source of carbohydrate at every meal. Carbohydrates contain energy and this energy can be stored in the body as an important fuel ready for use during exercise.
Sources of carbohydrate include:
- Bread, cereal, rice, pasta, noodles, cous cous
- Crackers, crispbread (Vitawheats, rice cakes etc.)
- Starchy veg – Potato, sweet potato and corn
- Milk, yogurt and other low fat dairy products
- Legumes and Lentils
- Fruit and fruit juice
These carbohydrate sources contain a variety of other important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fibre, protein, fat and fibre, which are essential for healthy body function.
Try to include a variety of sources of carbohydrate so you consume a variety of nutrients!
2-3 hours before the match
Consume a meal that is high in carbohydrate, low in fat and moderate in protein and fibre. Fats and protein can be hard to digest and may upset the gastrointestinal system. You don’t want to feel sick or need to go to the toilet while on the field!
Good examples of pre-match meals:
- Bowl of breakfast cereal with low fat milk and fruit
- Fruit salad and low fat yogurt
- Rice or pasta dishes with lean meat and vegetables (avoid creamy dishes, choose tomato based sauces)
- Banana smoothie and toasted cheese sandwich
- Lean ham and salad bread roll or multigrain sandwich
- Baked potato with cottage cheese filling
1 hour before the match
Top up your energy stores with a small snack that is high in carbohydrate and again low in fat.
Good snacks to top up energy levels include:
- 200g low fat yogurt
- Smoothie or Up and Go
- Sports bars or cereal bars
- A piece of fruit
Experiment with the timing and amount of foods that work for you!
During the match
During the match food can be used to top up energy stores to help keep us playing at our best. Remember it will depend on whether you have been off the field (waiting to bat) or if you have been out bowling or batting. You will not need as much if you have only been sitting on the bench.
Good examples of foods to eat during the game include:
- Sandwiches and rolls with lean meat & salad
- Wrap/pita/lavash with meat/egg/cheese filling
- Home made pizza
- Tomato based pasta dishes with lean meat or chicken
- Fruit salad and yogurt
Muffins or crumpets with jam/honey
Recovering from the match
For players who have undergone a heavy workload during the game it is important to consume a snack that contains both carbohydrate and protein within 30 minutes of match completion.
Examples of post recovery snacks include:
- Cereal bars
- A piece of fruit (banana, watermelon etc.)
You can’t control the game but you can do all you can to perform your best by eating well!
Our son has attended the André Burger Cricket Academy since early 2014.
André is an excellent coach and provides a holistic approach to the discipline of cricket. All aspects of cricket are explored in great detail - fitness, diet, health, organisational skills and mindset.
André, being South African, does everything with excellence – whether it is organising a cricket dinner, getting the boys to cook and serve the parents, making sure they have completed their tasks or mentoring the boys.
He provides regular feedback and we are always very aware of each week’s activities. André is firm, but also very fair and kind – exactly what teenage boys need.
André doesn’t get involved or pander to ridiculous “cricket parent” politics and encourages the boys to enjoy cricket overall, which is the whole purpose of the game!
It is a safe environment and your child does not have to go to Churchie to fit in. I would highly recommend Andre’s academy and wish that there were more programs in the schools to teach young men life skills!
Just wanted to write to say "Thanks" for a great cricket camp this week. Both Angus and George have raved about it all week. George was very nervous about playing and really wasn't confident or sure about it but does want to give cricket a go. He now tells me he really likes cricket and is excited to play the grade 5 season. It really has made an incredible difference and I really appreciate all that you and your team have put into this week under such hot conditions.
Also thanks to Natalie who has patiently handled Angus and all his eye issues.
My name is David Cross and I’m a Churchie parent. My son, Jake has been at Churchie for 3 years and for the last 9 months, Jake has been part of the Andre Burger Cricket Academy. Initially, I was a little bit sceptical as Jake has had many, what I consider to be premium coaches (which they all are). There has been other offers or invitations for Jake to join other academies. One of the reasons I was a little sceptical initially, I felt this was just another one of many academies available to young cricketers.
This endorsement of the AB academy is something that I wanted to give to Andre. I truly don’t believe enough cricket parents and boys realise what they are potentially missing out on. Jake’s cricket, self esteem, fitness level and overall self confidence is at an all time high. Thanks Andre.
Our son (Ryley) joined Andre Burger Cricket Academy because he wanted to improve his cricket skills. We couldn't have anticipated how much more the academy would offer. The benefits have far exceeded the game of cricket. Ryley has developed organisational and life skills that have benefited both his school and personal life and will equip him well for whatever life path his futures takes. Andre and his team have been fabulous mentors and they have successfully challenged Ryley to set goals, work hard and most importantly of all to challenge himself and strive to succeed.
I have been part of the Andre Burger Cricket Academy for 3 years now and my batting has improved incredibly, i love the goal setting as well as the personal attention and all the hard work the coaches put us through. It has been awesome working with the coaches and the boys involved as well, they are a great group.
Having worked closely with Andre over the past 8 months I have been very impressed with his approach to the game and what his Academy offers. He works extremely hard and is incredibly passionate about the game. His Academy offers a comprehensive program that provides everything for a player that is looking to develop their cricketing skills, their knowledge of the game and their life skills. Players will develop and improve under the guidance of Andre and the other specialist coaches he utilises and I have no doubt attending Andre’s Academy will be a very enjoyable and beneficial exercise for any young cricketer.
The Andre Burger academy is an holistic program that not only dramatically improves the game of cricket, but teaches young men life skills, good health and how to maintain fitness and to exercise properly. An excellent program for all young cricket fanatics.