Don't Ignore Carbohydrates - cricket for india
COACHING

Don't Ignore Carbohydrates

In these modern times, the emphasis on staying fit has increased tremendously. This has tempted many sports personalities, including cricketers, to go on crash-diets. One of the many ills of these crash-diets is that they have no room for carbohydrates. In fact, some so-called 'experts' have gone to the extent of recommending a CHO (carbohydrate) free diet. This has led many budding cricketers to believe that CHOs are bad and lead to weight-gain or other cardiac problems.

However, is this true?

If it is, then the cricketers of yore would not have succeeded at the highest level. CHOs are the basic source of energy. Leaving out CHOs from the diet would mean depleting the fuel reserves of the body. While performing high-intensity activities, the body first utilizes the CHOs available from the diet and later the Glycogen reserves. An insufficient supply of CHOs in the diet will force the body to utilize its Glycogen reserves. Subsequently, the body starts using up the lipids and proteins.





Thus, Carbohydrates have a protein-sparing effect on the body. If CHOs are deficient, the functions of proteins are hampered. This will lead to loss in the lean-body mass (muscle mass), further complicating the physiological state of the player.

In addition, proteins and lipids are not metabolized as fast as carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are metabolized very rapidly to yield energy. In fact, rapid use ("breakdown") of CHOs does not produce any harmful by-products, while a rapid "breakdown" of lipids increases the ketene bodies' load, high concentrations of which are fatal to the body.

The body also requires Glucose, the most basic form of CHOs, while performing high-intensity activities. Hence, during a match, lipids and proteins are unable to meet the energy requirements of players.

Here, we are talking about healthy individuals. Even diabetics are advised to consume at least 60-65% of their caloric intake from CHO. So much is the importance of CHOs.

Hence, all budding cricketers would be advised not to exclude CHOs from their diet.