Fluids are required to ensure adequate hydration.

Nutrition for Umpires

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Nutrition is important in assisting Umpires achieve maximum performance on the sporting field.

The foods Umpires consume each day of the training week between matches have two important functions. They:

  • Provide all of the essential nutrients required by the body, in the correct quantities for good health.
  • Must provide enough energy to meet the demands of training.

There are several key nutrients that are of particular importance to Umpires.

  • Carbohydrates - a limiting factor to endurance exercise is the depletion of muscle glycogen stores, which results in fatigue and ultimately exhaustion.
  • Protein - an adequate protein intake is essential to the umpire, for muscle tissue repair as well as many other metabolic functions. This can easily be met by the regular consumption of lean meat, poultry, fish as well as eggs and low fat dairy products. Good plant sources of protein include nuts, seeds and legumes such as lentils and soy beans.
  • Fats - to obtain adequate protein and carbohydrate each day, it is necessary to minimise fat intake. A low fat diet will also reduce the Umpires risk of excess body fat, heart disease and certain cancers. This can be done by limiting their intake of butter, margarine mayonnaise, cream, fried foods, fatty meats, chocolate, and high fat snack foods.

Umpires also need to understand the importance of hydration to ensure maximum performance.

  • Fluids - prolonged periods of intensive exercise can result in fluid losses of up to 2–3 litres. Dehydration will not only adversely affect the umpire’s performance, but can also be very dangerous. Thirst is a poor indicator of fluid needs and Umpires must get into the habit of regularly consuming water before, during and after training and matches. The best fluid during training sessions is cool water. During matches, however, Umpires will benefit from a commercial sports drink that provides carbohydrate and fluid in a rapidly absorbed form.
  • Alcohol - alcohol dehydrates the body. When consumed before a match it impairs the physical performance during the match. When consumed after the match, it retards recovery, which adversely affects the capacity to train well during the following week.

From an umpiring perspective, smoking reduces the fitness potential of the athlete.

Take the umpire nutrition quiz to test your understanding.

For more information on diet and nutrition please visit our nutrition section for coaches.

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