Revealed! How Zaheer Khan and Jonty Rhodes got fighting fit

Updated: 05 January, 2017 13:57 IST | Krutika Behrawala |

Sports nutritionist Kinita Kadakia Patel, who worked with Jonty Rhodes and Zaheer Khan, tells you how to fashion an athletic lifestyle in her new book

Zaheer Khan
Zaheer Khan

Plan for Zaheer Khan
Kinita Kadakia Patel, Sports nutritionist
'Zaheer and I have been connecting on and off. He is a mesomorph. He has a super-fit sportsman's body and responds immediately to the structure of his routine. For the upcoming IPL 2017, I am trying to create a mixed food pattern with a balance of carbs, protein and fat.'

Six pages of comments from the likes of cricketers Sunil Gavaskar, Jonty Rhodes, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan, ace shooter Ronak Pandit, actor Jimmy Shergill and celebrity fitness trainer Yasmin Karachiwala greet us before we flip to the first chapter in the book, The Athlete In You (Penguin Random House India) to be launched this weekend. The testimonials validate 34-year-old sports nutritionist Kinita Kadakia Patel, who holds an MSc in Dietetics with research in Sports Nutrition and specialises in sport-specific diets along with weight management. A far cry from the run-of-the-mill diet and weight-loss books, it is a manual to building an athletic lifestyle.

What's sports nutrition?
"Sports nutrition focuses on eating right to better one's performance. But it's not just for sportspersons. You can also benefit in routine activities like fighting fatigue, improving work performance, upping the training intensity or dealing with stress eating," says Patel, who has helped clients from different age groups and backgrounds to excel in their goals. These include teenage swimmer Vedant Khandeparkar and designer Pallavi Jaikishan, who shed over 20 kilos with Patel's nutritional advice.

The exhaustive guide covers the A to Z of athletics and nutrition — from defining body types and sports that they tend to excel at, to sections on macro and micronutrients. It also provides charts of workouts and meals based on different categories of sport — racquet sports, swimming, cycling, marathon running and cricket. "A lot of reading on past and current researches, and my personal experience through client interaction has played a crucial role in providing pragmatic suggestions," informs Patel.

Supplement choices
The book also offers a chapter on Smart Supplements, dispelling myths about what are often referred to as protein shakes and steroids. "Supplements are not
just performance-enhancing substances. Whether it's a chicken breast or a shake, both provide you with protein to repair muscle tissue. However, protein supplements are just an easy way to consume protein. That said, there are additional nutrients found in whole foods that you won't get otherwise. So, never replace all your food proteins with a supplement. However, one or two protein shakes per day is a healthy way to get your needs met, whether you work out or not," she sums up.

Kinita Kadakia Patel

Tips to get into shape

  •  Understand your body type and challenge it by picking up a sport that suits it.
  •  Keep SOS stuff at hand. Nuts act as a whole food giving energy in case of emergencies.
  •  To boost fibre intake, always eat fruits with the skin on or consume raw vegetables as an on-the-go snack. Brownie      points if you add hummus as a dip, since it’s rich in fibre due to its chickpea content.
  •  Staying hydrated helps you regulate blood pressure, energy levels, metabolic rate, etc. Aim to drink around half your body weight (in kilograms) in fluid ounces. For example, if you weigh around 70 kilograms, you would need to drink around 35 ounces (1,050 millilitres). Drink a tall glass of water before each and every meal.
  • Plan your meals well. Never skip a post-workout meal because it will hamper recovery. Go for boiled egg whites with white potatoes, grilled fish with white rice, a whey protein isolate shake made with bananas or some orange juice.

Body types and sport

  • Endomorphs (apple or pear-shaped physique): They tend to excel at racquet sports, swimming, cycling and cricket.
  • Ectomorphs (thin and tall): They tend to excel at long distance running, football, racquet sports and swimming.
  • Mesomorph (muscular, V-shaped): They tend to excel at hockey, football, sprinting and swimming.

When Jonty went veg

Body type: Mesomorph
During the IPL season two years back, the 47-year-old South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes took up a 40-day body transformation plan to increase muscle mass and lose body fat. “The exciting part was that he went vegetarian for it. We substituted meats with skimmed dairy products and protein sources like nuts, sprouts and seeds. For breakfast, he would have milk or plain yoghurt, baked beans or sprouts, peanut butter and fruits. This helped boost his energy during hectic travel schedules and stressful matches,” informs Patel.

First Published: 08 December, 2016 08:20 IST

Sign up for all the latest news, top galleries and trending videos from

loading image
This website uses cookie or similar technologies, to enhance your browsing experience and provide personalised recommendations. By continuing to use our website, you agree to our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. OK