We need the right food to fuel our bodies. Despite working hard in nets, spending time with a coach and hitting the gym your improvements will stall if you overlook what you eat.
Ask yourself this question, what food do you normally eat during the tea break?
Sausage rolls, pies, scones, biscuits, chips, crisps, cakes, chocolate?
Eating these foods in the middle of a game will adversely affect your performance. This is because such foods release energy too quickly, converting to fat and causing your blood sugar to crash.
Plus, foods that contain large amounts of dairy can upset the digestive tract (particularly during physical exertion), causing discomfort and hampered game play.
If you ever wondered why you were not at your best after tea, you can turn to your traditional cup of tea and slice of cake tea as the answer.
So why is our food choice important during the tea break?
Whether you’ve batted during the first innings or have fielded, your body will need to be refuelled with energy, ready to resume play. This is important as you and your team will be looking to put in a match winning performance during the second innings.
So what should we be eating during the tea break?
First of all you will need to rest for a few minutes, allowing your digestive track to prepare itself for the receiving of nutrients. During a tea break it is most beneficial to eat foods that are high in nutrients, low in artificial ingredients and, most importantly, give you a release of energy you can use. According to Woolmer et al (2008) such foods include:
- chilled melon (high water content and full of natural fruit sugars with release energy ergonomically).
After the match is a good time to get whole starchy carbohydrates to assist your recovery time. Potatoes, quinoa or rice combined with a protein source from lean meat works perfectly.
Its fine to consume some fatty foods provided the fats are not trans-fats. These foods will help you to stay warmer in cold weather, whilst avoiding discomfort during play. Again, look for whole foods that combine ‘healthy’ fats with other nutrients. Nuts, avocado, olives, hummus and fresh fish are solid options.
If you are prepared to change what you eat during the tea break then you can expect to experience an improved aerobic system for the remainder of the game, as the energy release will be more gradual. This will help you to stay focused and maintain concentration throughout the game.
Concentration and focus is the difference between winning and losing!