carnegieXchange: School of Sport

The start of nutritional understanding for elite female cricket players

Dillan Potts, is starting a funded Master of Research course in partnership with Northern Diamonds to investigate energy intake and energy expenditure of elite female cricket players during their home-fixtures. He tells us his plans for the next few months and why his research is so important.

White male with black hair and glasses smiling

Over the next few months, I will be preparing to embark on researching elite female cricket players. From April to September the players will be observed throughout their 50-over home fixtures with the aim of assessing the demands that games impose on their bodies. The cricket players energy, nutrient and fluid intakes will be assessed to quantify whether players are optimising their nutritional intake throughout match days to ensure the players are fuelling performance and recovering optimally. The state-of-the-art equipment at the Carnegie School of Sport allows me to measure bone density through DXA scans at the beginning and end of the season which will identify the injury risk of the players.

Why is this research important?

The research that will be carried out is the first of its kind within this cohort. Reviewing previous literature on this topic, all the previous research involved male cricket players. Without analysis on female cricket players, it sparks questions about how applicable this research is to inform female cricket performance. And how can practitioners provide the most accurate scientific evidence-based support without having literature to guide that support? Moreover, without investigation into the energy intake and energy expenditure of these players, it is unknown what impact 50-overs of cricket is having, nor can we conclude whether players are consuming adequate nutrients to optimise performance. The players could be at greater risk of injury, performance deterioration and possible health implications.  

What will be the impact of this research?

Completing this research will enable players and athlete support personnel to gain a greater understanding of fuelling and recovery in accordance with the matches being played over the season. Overall, the research will pave the path for other researchers to investigate sports nutrition and the demands of cricket within female players allowing for greater knowledge and understanding. 

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