Protein Facts - cricket for india
COACHING

Protein Facts

What is the contribution of proteins in shaping a cricketer? What is the proportion of proteins that a cricketer needs? This is an attempt to answer these questions.

Proteins are macronutrients, just like carbohydrates and fats that are made up of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen and nitrogen. Proteins are made up of "BUILDING BLOCKS" called Amino Acids.

22 Amino-acids have been discovered so far, of which nine are absolutely essential. These 'essential Amino-Acids' (EAAs) are methionine, tryptophan, threonine, valine, leucine, isoleucine, phenyl alanine, histadine and arginine. The body cannot synthesize them and hence, they have to be provided from the diet. The other 13 are synthesized by the body itself and are therefore considered non-essential Amino-acids.





SOURCE OF PROTEINS

Proteins are found in foods that contain the above-mentioned amino-acids, like:

  Meat and meat products.
  Fish.
  Milk and milk products.
  Eggs and egg products.
  A combination of cereals and pulses in a meal. Both cereals and pulses lack one EAA each and therefore complement each other when consumed together.

FUNCTIONS OF PROTEINS

Proteins are crucial for muscle-building and achieving a lean body-mass. They help an individual gain strength and stamina. A cricketer's muscles are susceptible to a lot of wear and tear, and hence, a continuous and adequate supply of proteins is necessary.

RECOMMENDED DIETARY ALLOWANCE

That brings us to the question of protein requirements. A normal, healthy individual requires 0.8-1 gm of protein, per kg body-weight. This can go up to around 1.5 gms/kg body-weight. This requirement can be met easily through a regular diet. It is therefore a myth that cricketers require protein supplements.

One needs to be careful while taking protein supplements. They should not be over-consumed, and should provide all the essential amino-acids in adequate proportions.

The best commercial supplements that can be consumed are those made from SOYA or WHEY proteins (a type of protein obtained from cow's milk).

NEGATIVE EFFECTS OF EXCESSIVE PROTEIN INTAKE

  Dehydration, which could hamper performance.
  The kidney will excrete more calcium, thus weakening the bones.
  Increase in the load on the liver, another vital organ.
  Deficiency of micronutrients like vitamins & minerals.

Hence, a cricketer should be cautious and careful with the quality and quantity of proteins that he consumes.