are a part of sports but we believe that we must do our best
to keep them at a minimum. Strong bones and muscles are a
must for any player. Strong bones are built from a healthy
balanced diet along with plenty of milk. Milk is one of the
richest sources of calcium to our bodies. All research shows
that there is no short cut to strong bones. You can’t
do any magic, you can’t just pop a calcium pill, you
just have to commit yourself to consuming milk or curd daily.
In the last 4 years as Sports
to the NCA we have observed that a player must have a minimum
of 800 –1000ml skimmed milk/curd daily. You may do this
at home, but while touring or during heavy match schedules
we see that this could be neglected. If it happens for 2-3
days it may be negligible, but for 3-4 weeks on a tour if
you are haphazard about your milk intake then you could have
your bones getting brittle and a fracture or a crack may take
place very easily. Kindly note that all muscle contractions
are also affected by calcium levels and therefore your whole
body ‘s muscular performance may come down.
Secondly milk/curd in
a players diet is supposed to provide about 1/3 of the total
protein requirement for a day. This protein is important to
keep the muscle mass up and muscles strong. When the milk
intake goes down we could see the muscle performance badly
affected. Everyday during training and playing huge muscle
tissue breakdown takes place and this has to be rebuilt daily.
If the protein intake is poor, not only does the muscle mass
go down, weak muscles will tear and get pulled easily. Try
to drink a glass of skimmed milk with a banana on rising,
you may add coffee or tea bags to it or bournvita, horlicks
etc. Try to have one more glass with breakfast, may be with
Have atleast ½ -1 C yogurt with lunch and dinner. At
6 pm when you finish play or after training, drink a milk
shake or lassi. If this is not possible make sure you drink
a glass of milk at bedtime. 4-5 glasses (200ml each) skimmed
milk/curd are a must daily.
Another leading cause
for injury is high levels of uric acid in the blood. Uric
acid is a waste product of protein breakdown in the body.
It has to be flushed out of the blood daily with plenty of
water. All players breakdown their own body muscle while training
and playing. Also most of them consume a lot of protein in
their diets. Many of them over do their chicken or red meat
intake believing that this alone can make strong muscles.
Therefore a players kidneys work overtime to flush out waste
products like uric acid and urea. This has to be aided by
a high intake of water. Any player drinking less than 3-4
liters water can have a serious problem. Please note on a
match day you may sweat more so you have to consciously drink
more. This may not happen with the tight schedule and tension.
The result is the uric
acid in the blood goes up and it crystallizes. These crystals
then get stuck in the joints that are being used heavily –toes,
fingers, wrists, shoulder, ankle, elbow, and knee. This can
cause shooting pain or a dull ache and destroy and ruin your
In many cases we see that
some players may even be genetically more prone to this problem
so even a vegetarian can have this problem. Sometimes an attack
of pain can follow a night of overeating – feasting,
or a day of skipped meals- fasting or even a night of excess
Firstly I would advice all players do a simple random
blood test asking for urea and uric acid levels to be
tested. Urea is also a waste product, the levels should
be less than 28mgms% and in case of uric acid less than
Consciously drink plenty of water3- 4 liters daily.
Restrict the intake of red meat and chicken/fish, not
more than 2-3 pieces at one time in a meal. Restrict intake
of non-veg gravies and non-veg soups.
Use 800 ml-1 liter skimmed milk plus 2 egg whites daily
to keep protein intake up. (They are safe of uric acid)
Strictly control alcohol intake or avoid it.
If you have high uric
acid levels please consult a dietitian to help you plan and
alter your diet specifically.