Lean, mean, fighting proteins! That’s what a cricket diet is all about, getting you some of the best, most pure protein on the market.
In addition to improving gut health and reducing the risk for heart disease, crickets also provide BCAAs, double the iron of other protein sources, plenty of calcium, and unsaturated fats…you know…the fats that are good for you. The health benefits are numerous, but these buggy proteins and micronutrients don’t just benefit the general population. There are specific health benefits for athletes as well when it comes to eating crickets.
True, BCAAs are a big help with bodybuilding, but crickets are also packed with high doses of Vitamin B12, which means higher energy levels for athletes. Insect protein is also set apart from other sources by its very high digestibility, which can reach more than 98%. Who wants indigestion on the field anyway?
What’s more, crickets powder is becoming an increasingly popular ingredient in protein bars and shakes, an already familiar part of an athlete’s diet.
Eric Hillman, CEO of Europa Sports Products, one of the largest sports nutrition distributors in the country, calls cricket protein the “most efficient protein.” He says, “The whole bug is protein. Let’s look at a functional fitness athlete. He needs protein and fat. Well, take a Grub Beetle: lots of fat and lots of protein. Can’t say that about whey, can you?”
And there are a few athletes who share Hillman’s sentiments about crickets:
- Mark Melancon: The San Francisco Giants reliever has not only incorporated crickets into his own diet after falling head-over-tastebuds for the cricket pouches at the Sweets and Snacks Expo in Chicago, but he has also gotten his children in on the critter snacks trend. Melancon wants to be a pioneer in the trend to start incorporating crickets into an athletic diet and has talked to the Giants team dietician about the steps to take to make it a part of his own eating regimen.
- Jordan Rapp: The triathlete says he’d eat other bugs more often if they were more available, but crickets are now his go-to since the insect is sweeping the protein markets. Rapp regularly throws crickets on top of pepperoni and arugula pizza to “add a nutty flavor and slight crunch.” Not only does the athlete consume crickets for the sake of his health and athleticism, but also for the sake of the environment, as these bugs are highly eco-friendly.
- William Walcker and Minh-Anh Pham: After qualifying for the triathlon world championships as age-groupers, the two triathletes began looking for a healthy, efficient and environmentally friendly diet. They couldn’t find an energy bar that suited them, able to support long-time physical efforts. That’s when they learned about the benefits of cricket protein. Walcker and Pham immediately saw the cricket’s potential for athletes and have even started making their own energy bars.
Take it from four pro athletes and give crickets a tasty try for some extra power in your throw, some more leap in your lunge and more agility in your ability!