Diet for Sports lovers

Thanks for your article with details about how to get enough protein in the diet My 15 year old tends to eat a lot of chicken at both lunch and dinner. Can this be harmful? He sometimes skips breakfast or just has fruits and a glass of milk at breakfast. Is this o.k?


The rules any sports person should follow is

  • Never skip a meal.
  • Every meal must be a properly balanced one with adequate carbohydrate and protein.
  • Drink plenty of water

  Never Skip a Meal  

Some say I am not so hungry in the morning or I want to feel light in the morning. This is a very serious mistake. You have fasted for 9-10 hours while you were sleeping. If you do not eat a hearty breakfast, muscle glycogen stores are broken down and also muscle tissue will be lost. This is one of the most harmful things that can happen in an athlete's body. As a sports consultant to the National Cricket Academy we are ensuring that at rising, instead of bed coffee or tea one glass milk with Bournvita etc plus one banana is eaten before they go out for training. Then they return and eat a good breakfast.

The second danger of a poor or a skipped breakfast is the need to over eat at lunch and dinner. ( so, wont this compensate the poor breakfast). It may, but the damage in the muscles is already done and when you over eat at the other meals you also will deposit excess fat tissue in the body, which no sportsman wants.

A very important concept to learn and under stand whether you are trying to gain or lose or maintain weight and fitness is that the days food must be balanced as 40% at breakfast and 40% at lunch and tea and only 20% at night. If you are following a 10%, 20%and 70% at night system you are in big trouble or heading that way.


  Every meal must be balanced  

Only eating 5 eggs for breakfast or just rotis and sabji for lunch and 5 pieces of chicken and salad for dinner are all wrong in balance. Each meal must be a proper balance of carbohydrate namely bread, cereal, rice, chapatti, etc and protein namely milk, eggs, dhal, non-veg etc. with plenty of vegetables and fruits. Yes you need protein but if in excess this can be very harmful to an athlete or sportsman as digesting this and removing the waste products of stressful protein digestion can be very harmful to the kidneys.
Many sportsmen especially teenagers tend to over eat chicken and other meats. Uric acid, a waste product formed from non-veg digestion then stays in the blood, forms crystals and gets deposited in the joints like wrist, elbow, shoulder, knees, ankles, toes etc. and cause shooting pain, which will destroy your performance.
You may increase intake of skimmed milk and egg white for protein but non-veg must be eaten in limited quantities. Preferably only chicken or fish and this too at lunch only and avoided or sparingly at dinner.



Plenty of water
Normal people should drink 2 and a half- 3-liters water. Sportsmen need minimum 3-4 liters. They are all sweating more and also more wear and tear of muscles and more protein intake so more work for the kidneys and they will not function unless there is plenty of water. Muscle cramps will occur and again your performance will come down.