What to Eat & Avoid before the BIG Cricket Match Day: Yuvraj Salvi

Diet for cricketers before match day
Image used only for reference purposes. Source: Google

 When it comes to sports, no matter which sports a athlete plays but there is always a question that goes on in his head “How can I prepare well for the upcoming match?” “What to eat & what not to eat?”

These questions are rather half answered or go unanswered when we talk about athletes who compete at a local/club level. As we know, majority of our athletes/sports players compete at a local level go on to achieve high stages in the future, but this incomplete knowledge at the local level regarding pre-match nutritional and physical (workout programs) preparation hinders the growth of many talented players at the local/club level. This ignorance may sometimes cause a player his career by suffering injury and not performing at the optimal level.

“Like a car, the food is your fuel, and the body is your engine. Make sure you keep them both in the best condition before a long drive”.

Here are some of the basic tips I as a trainer let my students follow so that they don’t lack in terms of nutritional & physical strength while performing.


One day before competition / Match Day

  1. Focus on food high in carbohydrate and relatively low in fat.
  2. Avoid high-fat foods such as fried foods, chips, cake & chocolates.
  3. Eat good & heavy breakfast (e.g. – toast, oatmeal, cereal, milk & fruits)
  4. Have Sandwiches, Rolls (whole wheat), pasta or rice for lunch. You can also have noodles or potatoes.
  5. Avoid any new foods (which you haven’t had before/ not familiar to your digestive system)
  6. Have small frequent meals rather than a single large meal.
  7. Drink extra 500ml (16Oz) of water in a day.


Immediately before  Match/competition

  1. Should focus on meals providing carbohydrates & fluids.
  2. Consume high carbohydrate, low fat meal 3-4 hours before exercising or competition.
  3. Light carbohydrate snack (e.g. – Dark chocolate, fruit) can be consumed just before the match in small quantity.
  4. 200 to 300 grams of carbohydrate should be consumed pre-competition.
  5. Drinking 5 to 7 ml per kg of body weight of water or sports beverage at least 4hours before practice or competition.
  6. Drinking an additional 200-300ml of water 10-20 minutes before practice or competition.
  7. Avoiding foods high in fiber or foods that cause stomach issues.


 During Competition/ Match Day

  1. Carbohydrate based beverages have shown to improve performance in athletes consuming it during competition.
  2. Avoid dehydration and avoid mental and muscular fatigue that can be caused by inadequate carbohydrate.


Post Competition/Post Match (Recovery Phase)

  1. Immediately consume carbohydrates to enhance energy. This will replenish the depleted muscle glycogen stores. (Glucose in the muscle)
  2. Within next few hours consume foods rich in complex carbohydrates & proteins such as oats, sweet potato, dates, protein bars, eggs, protein shakes, chicken , fish, paneer, tofu, etc.)


Personal Observations:-

Following the above given routine throughout the competition phase has shown to double the chances of a player to perform well in a competition/match.

If certain routines are lacking in a player he/she may slow down and have lack of concentration during the match.



In sports, especially in cricket where a player has to spend 7-8 hours per day in a test/one-day match, he/she may suffer from the symptoms of dehydration, muscle cramps etc. when there is a lack of awareness and negligence by a cricketer or his trainer while preparing for competition.

Since, you’ve reached the bottom of this article most of you must have figured out to make your own routine around the competing days. I hope it make a positive difference in your performance and affect you in a positive way. Fitness is a choice, so whoever does it in a correct way will be reaping its benefits. All the best, I hope you will be seeing yourselves as better sportsmen/cricketers from here on. 


 Points to Consider/Refer

“Please note: – Consult a physician if you are allergic to any of the below and above mentioned foods recommended in this article”


1gram carbohydrate= 4calories

1gram fat= 9calories

1gram protein= 4calories


Nutritional breakdown of some of the recommended foods (approximate figures per 100 grams of consumption)

  Potato Rice Oats Eggs Fish Paneer Chicken
Calories 77 130 38 gms 155 206 265 151
Carbohydrates 17 gms 28 gms 66 gms 1.1 0 1.2 gms 0
Proteins 2 gms 2.7 gms 17 gms 13 gms 22 gms 18.3 gms 31 gms
Fats 0.1 gms 0.3 gms 7 gms 11 gms 12 gms 20.8 gms 3 gms


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