A strict diet makes Suryakumar the new ‘Mr 360’



Suryakumar Yadav has emerged as India’s new cricket sensation in the ongoing T20 Globalism 2022 World Cup in Australia. He has been the main architect of India’s tournament-winning spree and rightly earned the ‘Mr 360°’ label previously associated with former South African captain AB de Villiers.

The kinds of shots Suryakumar presents on Australian soil leave critics dumbfounded. It would not be possible if Suryakumar did not maintain a high level of fitness. He is agile and electric on the field which certainly reflects his hard work in the net. But to fuel this energy, the Indian batter also follows a strict diet.

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No cheat meals, eliminate carbs, and add caffeine – Suryakumar has taken the least-traveled route to the top. His 360-degree game was made possible by methodical planning, and changing his eating habits was one of his biggest accomplishments off the field.

Renowned sports nutritionist and nutritionist Shweta Bhatia, who has worked with the world’s number one T20I bat, has given some subtle insights into how carefully a cricketer plans to work on his body.

“We have been working with him for the past year. He has been looking to improve his general fitness. It has helped him reorganize his understanding of sports nutrition,” Bhatia told PTI on Monday.

Bhatia said Syria’s diet was built on a five-point agenda. First, boost performance during training and matches. Secondly, and most importantly, helping it maintain body fat within the athletic zone (12-15%).

Third, his diet should help him stay alert/cognitively active. The fourth point was to reduce the need to refuel constantly with less desire to refuel. Last but not least, promoting recovery was a must for the athlete. To increase his agility levels, Bhatia reduced carb intake to a minimum for best results.

“Recent research shows how performance can not only be maintained, but improved with a structured, low-carb plan,” she said.

“We got rid of extra carbs from Soria’s diet. His diet consists of healthy fats like nuts and omega-3s. He consumes a lot of first-class proteins from non-vegetarian sources (eggs, meat, fish), dairy, and fibrous carbs from vegetables.

“Hydration guidelines consisting of fluids and electrolytes are provided for the in-game/in-training period. Activity-specific sports performance enhancing supplements are added before, during and after training.

These include whey proteins, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and joint health supplements to name a few. The Basic Plan is modified from time to time in accordance with match, training and travel schedules. I plan the menu, and suggest healthy alternatives and foods to avoid monotony.”

Caffeine is an energy booster and is one of the “energy supplements” that Surya drinks, which helps in generating explosive power.

“I work with a strength and conditioning coach. I see training protocols and diet is adjusted accordingly. Supplements that boost energy output are included. In general, diet should match training intensity for best results.

Hunger for success and subsequent achievements require massive sacrifices. The hardest part is letting go of life’s little joys, like ice cream at the end of dinner or enjoying lamb biryani or pizza.

Read also | She was way into the madness: Veteran Sports Journalist reveals how Suryakumar Yadav prepared in Mumbai for T20 toilet

“Surya has the mentality of an elite athlete and prioritizes his performance over everything else. Therefore, cheat meals are rare. He has not craved junk foods or comfort foods since he started on the diet.

“When it becomes monotonous, an allowance is made for healthy options. If he feels like eating one, the cheat meals are planned strategically. Guide him with the amount and time of consumption so as not to hinder his performance,” concluded Bhatia.

(with PTI input)

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