Consuming 12,000 calories a day key to becoming a successful kabaddi player

Modified 12 Jul 2015
Bengal Warriors Dinesh Kumar
Bengal Warriors players pose for a picture at the team launch

Ever wondered what it takes to become a successful kabaddi player? Apart from training strenously and being committed, you need to eat nearly 5 times what an average person does in a day! Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) franchisee Bengal Warriors opened about the diet and the training schedule of their players during pre-season training.

A Warriors’ backroom staff member revealed the intake of most of the players in the team. According to the source, they take in 8,000 to 12,000 calories in a day. To compare, the average Indian man needs 2,400 to 2,600 calories in his daily diet.

He talked in detail about the daily schedule of all the players.

“The players wake up at 6am. The boys from north India have a breakfast of chapattis and dal before heading for practice,” the Bengal Warriors reported him as saying.

“The practice ends around 10am. Lunch is at noon, when they again have chapattis with paneer or meat, along with salad. For dinner, it is again chapattis with dal. Milk goes with every meal.”

Bengal Warriors captain, Dinesh Kumar, who hails from Delhi, praised the owners of the team for leaving no stone unturned in the preparations.

The former India captain and Arjuna awardee told Bengal Warriors, “We are very well taken care of by the owners of the Bengal Warriors, the Future Group. We are kept in star hotels, we have the best quality food and any amount of it that we ask for. I never thought such a time would come in kabaddi.”

Bengal Warriors assistant coach iterates the importance of ghee for kabaddi players

Ghee (clarified butter) is an essential part of a kabaddi player's diet with district, state and even national level players from the north carrying 2kg of ghee with them.

“They won’t survive without their ghee. Also, the quality has to be ensured. So the safest thing for them is to carry home-made stuff to state and national tournaments, where facilities are sometimes minimal,” said assistant coach and former India international B.C. Ramesh, as reported by Bengal Warriors.

However, 1 of the 3 Bengalis in the PKL, Shyam Kumar Sha admitted dismay that the athletes from his region don’t get to eat butter and ghee as they are too expensive and not a part of the staple diet of the people from Bengal.

“Butter and ghee are too expensive for most players in Bengal. They are made in every home in rural north India but not here. Our players still have the unhealthy jhalmuri or ghugni or whatever they can afford after practice when they are hungry.”

Physical trainer Sheeba Mehra opined that the sport of kabaddi requires heavy-duty training to strengthen the muscles.

“Kabaddi requires extremely strong muscles and only heavy-duty training can produce that kind of muscle and strength. And for such training, a very heavy diet is required. So, it all adds up,” Mehra was reported as saying in the same article.

The PKL starts on 18th July with the Bengal Warriors taking on last season’s semi-finalists, Bengaluru Bulls on opening day at the National Sports Club of India, Mumbai.

Published 12 Jul 2015
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