21 February 2011

Cricket World Cup, nutrition and muscle cramps

As a nutritionist I am fascinated by the varied nutritional implications of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, says DietDoc. What can players eat and what can they do to avoid cramps?

On Thursday we were treated to the lavish spectacle of the opening ceremony of the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup (CWC) in Bangladesh and by today, this major cricket tournament is in full swing (pardon the pun!). While I am not exactly a cricket fundi, I do enjoy watching these fast one-day internationals while cheering on the Proteas. I’m not sure that I am going to watch every one of the 49 matches that are scheduled before the final on 2 April 2011, but as a nutritionist I am fascinated by the varied nutritional implications of such a vast sports spectacle.

If you consider that 9 of the participating teams, including the Proteas, don’t usually eat curry on a daily basis, then finding familiar food for our players may be a problem. According to some reports, certain teams take along every item of food and drink that their players consume in foreign countries. This is probably the only way to ensure that the team are not struck down by ‘Delhi belly’ and have to spend the day confined to their quarters. So far, I have not read any articles in the media that our team has taken along an air-freight container filled with South African food, but I hope that the team stick to the general dietary rules for travellers to exotic countries.

  • drink only bottled water
  • don’t have ice in your drinks
  • don’t eat any uncooked food (this is probably the only time I would encourage readers to avoid fresh fruit and raw vegetables!)
  • don’t eat any fruit that you don’t peel yourself
  • always ask for the mildest curry on the menu (it’s worth a try)
  • keep a few anti-diarrhoea pills in your kitbag for emergencies
  • make sure that you are well hydrated by drinking lots of bottled water or diluted caffeine-free energy drinks
  • drink boiled milk in tea and coffee




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