Players Diet must be Carbohydrate and Protein balanced on all 7 days

Most players have a very strict exercise regimen and workout schedule. They exercise and train for 6 days of the week, they also try to eat properly and consume enough protein and water on these 6 days. On the seventh day they rest their bodies and tired muscles and this is a good thing but it is very dangerous if they change their diet, protein intake and water consumption on the seventh day.

When they take a rest from the exercise it is very important to understand that there is a process of rebuilding of muscle tissue. Muscle building requires that enough protein is supplied in the food intake of each and every day. There is no substitute for protein and you cannot build muscles from starch in the food or from fat stored in the body. Also tired muscles tend to get dehydrated so even on a rest day plenty of water, milk, fruits and fresh salad is a must.

A player must never resort to any detox programme or diet plans which say only fruits and juices or only soups and boiled vegetables or salads or to fasting. This must not be done even for one single day or one single meal.

A players body requires utmost care on all days, seven days a week, 365 days, of the year if you want to see consistent performance. Remember your peak performance may last for 5-10-15 years and to make the most of it you need to be hundred percent focused about your diet and fitness during this period. Many top players have commented that they donít feel so high on energy and performance on Monday and Tuesday and when the diet was looked into we found that there are many variation in their eating pattern on Sunday. In some cases both on Sunday and Saturday too.

The biggest changes would be that many cut down on their water intake on these days. The ideal water intake on a training day is 3-4 liters. On an off day there should be a minimum of 3 liters, otherwise by Monday you will feel tired and cramp easily.

The second big change is in protein intake. A player who usually has cornflakes and milk along with toast and egg white for breakfast may just eat idliís and sambar or chutney without any milk or egg white on an off day. A big glass of milk gives 8-10gms protein and 2-3 egg whites give 8-10gm protein. So your meal that Sunday morning could be 15-20 gm less protein. Many would wake up late on Sunday morning and just miss breakfast all together. They will definitely be short of at least 20gms of protein.

At lunch time your regular meal may be a combination of roti, rice, dhal, yogurt and sabji but if you are out for lunch and you decide to just grab a vegetable grilled sandwich and some juice, you again miss out on your lunch protein. Similarly if you eat some pav baji or chaat or upma instead of roti, dhal, and sabji for dinner you could deprive yourself of another 20gm of protein in the day.

Many also eat plenty of fruits and salad on training days which they omit on rest days which means the vitamins, mineral intake goes down and this will make you feel tired easily.

So the golden rules for all days and all rest days are

  1. 3-4 liters of water daily.
  2. One liter non-fat or skimmed milk daily (this gives you 30gms protein)
  3. One cup dhal or pulses for lunch and one cup dhal or pulses for dinner (2 cups dhal gives about 15gm protein).
  4. Always make it a point to eat 3 meals that are carbohydrate and protein balanced. Even if you wake up late eat breakfast of at least cereal and 250ml skimmed milk and then delay your lunch a little, but also make sure you eat a balanced dinner. Even if you eat idli, sambar for breakfast, please drink a big glass of milk with it. A non-vegetarian may eat chicken or fish with lunch and make sure you eat rotis and dhal for dinner.
  5. Try to eat at least two to three fruits and two salads daily. (i.e.salad with lunch and with dinner).

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