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