Improving fitness and eating healthy key to success in the IPL

The two power-houses of Indian cricket shown above have led by example when it comes to setting fitness standards
The two power-houses of Indian cricket shown above have led by example when it comes to setting fitness standards
Vikram Bhattacharya

There was a time when professional cricketers used to take fitness for granted and assumed that skill was enough to tide them along. Things have changed drastically in the last two decades and the emphasis on physical fitness and general health of athletes has increased tremendously. Fitness and nutrition have gone way beyond exercising at the right time to prepare for matches and eating well while playing for your team. Cricketers now are focused on maintaining a very high level of fitness throughout the year with great attention paid to what they eat, how much they eat and what times they eat.

Controlling one's diet has become paramount to ensuring your body develops in the right manner and aids you in your performance on the field. Fitness and nutrition are deeply interconnected and cricketers of the modern era spend most of their time working out and eating right to improve their bodies, staying in shape and focusing on their craft to achieve the optimal level of performance.

Fitness for the modern day cricketer is centred around improving endurance, speed and strength and the biggest example of that is India and Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli. The man from Delhi changed his entire diet and training regimen to focus on putting on lean muscle and developing explosiveness. Hence, his routines involve a lot of cardio and weights, helping him develop endurance and stay lean, thus improving his speed.

Most cricketers now have their training geared towards helping them improve their dynamism and explosiveness. The focus is on gaining speed and enhancing recovery, which in turn improves their stamina. Fitness standards used to help all cricketers get ready for energy intensive competitions like the IPL include the Yo-yo test and Fartlek training sessions. Both techniques are based on aiding both the speed and endurance of the cricketers and tests their agility, concentration and stamina, apart from the ability to perform under pressure.

To ensure they are in prime shape to excel at these tests, all the top cricketers nowadays engage in a combination of training exercises, which include short distance sprint tests and agility drills. To get better at explosive movements, doing burpees, knee tucks, box jumps and power push-ups is a big help as they improve your stamina and strength.

Achieving holistic body and mind conditioning also includes utmost focus on nutrition and players are encouraged to avoid junk food completely and eat a diet that emphasises importance on less carbohydrates and more protein. Apart from that, fruits and nuts that help give the necessary vitamins and minerals are important to help the athletes reach peak condition.

Nowadays, the importance of nutrition supplements and sports supplements is on the rise, particularly for athletes who are vegetarian, and it is no different for cricketers. With IPL teams playing matches almost every two days and constant travelling involved, a lot of focus is also given to rest and recovery of the players. Fast&Up's diverse range of products like the instant Energy gel and post workout products like Recover are ideal to helping modern day cricketers stay in ideal shape and recover well in between matches.

The presence of sports supplements like Activate and Reload help athletes push themselves in training and raise their level of preparation for matches and help them stay healthy and committed. Nutrition is also a key component of rest and recovery and Fast&Up products like Charge and Vitalize help one get the ideal complement of vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and in shape.

Among current cricketers, Rajasthan Royals' Prashant Chopra is someone who believes in nutritional supplements and was all praise for Fast&Up energy drink Reload, saying, "When the weather gets hot, you need to hydrate your body well. Fast&Up Reload Cola is an amazing flavour! Making my training complete is Fast&Up Reload."

Prashant Chopra's go-to hydration drink is the new Fast&Up Reload Cola flavour
Prashant Chopra's go-to hydration drink is the new Fast&Up Reload Cola flavour

With physiotherapists now maintaining contact with players all year long to ensure they are up to date with their fitness requirements and are eating and sleeping well daily, athletes are now at a level of fitness and focus never seen before. Indian cricketers wear GPS vests that monitor every facet of their training total distance covered, number and distance of high-speed runs and sprints, number of accelerations and decelerations, impacts and collisions, and heart-rate exertion. These numbers are monitored to see how they perform in the future and these vests are in use whether they are training for India or for their IPL team.

Lastly, ensuring that cricketers get a full eight hours of sleep is very important as rest aids the most in recovery when they have a hectic schedule like in the IPL. The presence of nutritional supplements from Fast&Up aid cricketers in their preparation and recovery in a tournament as energy intensive in a short duration as the IPL, helping them stay fit and perform at their best to entertain fans.

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Edited by Sameer Bahl


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