Nutrition for Umpires

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.

Nutrition for Umpires Quiz

Sally Garrard, a Sports Dietitian - Nutritionist from Apple to Zucchini, provides this quiz to test your understanding of the nutrition and dietary requirements for umpires to be at their best.


1. A meal is best eaten _______ before umpiring.
          a) 1 hour
          b) immediately before (to give a burst of energy)
          c) 2 - 4 hours
          d) 4 - 5 hours

2. Which of the answers below describes the benefit of a sports drink?
          a) Provides water for hydration
          b) Provides electrolytes for water absorption in the intestine and to maintain blood volume
          c) Supplies carbohydrate to provide energy
          d) All of the above

3. Which of the following meals constitute the best choice when attempting to fuel up before umpiring?
          a) Steamed fish and veggies
          b) All Bran cereal and yoghurt
          c) Banana and honey sandwiches
          d) Protein Plus Power Bar

4. During muscle-building regimes, umpires should consume how many grams of protein?
          a) 0.5 to 0.7g/kg body weight
          b) 0.8g/kg body weight
          c) 1.2 to 1.6g/kg body weight
          d) 2.2 to 2.6g/kg body weight

5. During exercise/umpiring the need for vitamins is generally is increased.
          a) True
          b) False

6. There is a direct relationship between density of spinal bone and _______.
          a) Exercise exertion
          b) Weight loss
          c) Regular menstruation
          d) Iron deficiency

7. When carbohydrate fuel (glycogen) in muscles is used up, it is difficult to maintain the high initial workload unless the blood glucose concentration is elevated by carbohydrate feedings.  This may happen in the 3rd or 4th quarter and umpires call this condition:
          a) The training effect
          b) The second wind
          c) Hitting the wall

Please record your own answers before viewing the correct answers

For further information from Sally Garrard visit the Apple to Zucchini website.

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