The basic trait of an average kabaddi player is to be agile and flexible enough to gather points from absolutely nowhere. And for that to achieve, the athlete needs an uncompromising nutrition plan coupled with a firm workout regime. Different sport demands different balance of nosh and for a sport like Kabaddi, maintaining a well-built structure and for that, eating as much of right constitutes as you can is the key.
A diet of a kabaddi player is as interesting as you can think. Let’s start with the basics; an average Indian consumes 2,400 to 2,600 calories per day. But if he or she tends to become a world-class kabaddi player, somewhere around 8,000 to 12,000 calories per day is what you have to gobble.
Most of India’s global kabaddi superstars have come from a rural upbringing, hence their diet is extremely basic, yet very hard to ingest for an average man. Ghee or butter is their primary intake followed by a diet of chicken as well as mutton. The Telegraph India had once quoted a player consumes “Four litres of milk with 200g of butter a day” followed by “Seven chapattis dripping ghee at every meal with lentils, paneer and salad”
These fatty products may very well hamper a player’s weight and eventually his performance, but these athletes need a protein rich diet. A member of one of Pro Kabaddi League’s franchise was quoted by the aforementioned source as saying,
“The players wake up at 6am,” he said. “The boys from north India have a breakfast of chapattis and dal before heading for practice.
“The practice ends around 10 am. 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.”
Over the years, however, a different approach or what can be termed as a western meal has been adapted. These days, kabaddi players consume eggs, juices, cornflakes or mostly oats in breakfast. The idea is to have a fat free as well as a light meal. Apart from that, intake of fruits like apple, almost three times a day, is also followed.
Again, a sport like kabaddi needs an extremely well-built physique which not only includes a strong muscle power, but also a perfect mental strength. A day for these athletes start at as early as 6 am which is followed by a regular schedule of jogging and basic stretching exercises. Besides their regular kabaddi practice, these athletes are asked to relax their muscle in a swimming pool.
But for achieving that much-required agility, a kabaddi player even practices sprints, regular weight lifts, conditional training. As many as 10 exercises are performed continuously before eventually taking a break.
“Players do 50m and 80m sprints. Since a raid only lasts for 30 seconds, we sometimes ask the players to do 30-second sprints. A raider burns more calories than a defender. It depends on their position, so it’s better to look at their daily load,” explains Sangram Manjrekar, a fitness and conditioning expert.
It is not easy being a global kabaddi player after all. But if you are looking to becoming one, there’s your little guide.