Crickets can help prevent heart disease, support gut health and assist with a healthy pregnancy. It’s no secret that crickets are good for us, but what do they do for athletes, those who voluntarily push their bodies to the limit every day?
Whether you’re a swimmer, runner, sports star or all of the above, you need protein, you need calcium, you need amino acids, and about a dozen other vitamins and minerals to keep your bones strong and energy up. While some athletes invest in protein powders, bottles of vitamins and organize a strict meal regimen to make sure they’re getting their bodies the best of the best food fuel, crickets are like magical little protein vitamins, filled with everything an athlete need in one bite.
Because, unlike larger animals such as cows and pigs, insects are ingested whole, whether you’re eating them roasted or via cricket powder.
“You’re not just eating muscle,” says Daniella Martin, the author of Edible, in an interview with Men’s Health. “You’re eating bones and organs, which deliver calcium, iron, vitamin B12, and zinc. It’s like if somebody ground up a whole cow.”
Crickets trump beef and pork pound-for-pound for protein, contain a fraction of the fat, and far exceed a steak in iron and contain more calcium than milk gram for gram, according to Greg Sewitz and Gabi Lewis, the cofounders of Exo Protein. What’s more, cricket protein has all the same qualities as premium whey protein in terms of nutrition, containing all 9 essential amino acids: histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine.
Eric Hillman, CEO of Europa Sports Products, agrees that, with crickets, “you’ve got the most efficient protein; the whole bug is protein.”
In an interview with Natural Products Insider, he said, “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?”
Let’s take a deeper dive into the essential, nutritional components of crickets, and how they work for athletes:
Fibre: Similar to shellfish, much of the fibre in cricket powder comes from chitin, which is one of the reasons crickets are sometimes referred to as “land shrimp.” Though chitin is not absorbed by our bodies, it is thought to absorb fat as it passes through the bowels, and could be one of the reasons crickets are effective with weight loss. While crickets aren’t exactly high in fat to begin with, one of the last things an athlete needs weighing them down is unnecessary fat. Plus, fibre also lowers your risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer.
Calcium: We’ve heard this since we were young, that we need to drink our milk to build strong bones. And it’s true, our bodies need calcium to build and maintain durable bones, but our heart, muscles and nerves also need calcium to function properly, especially when they’re being worked over at high intensity with professional athletes.
Iron: Often taken in with massive amounts of spinach by athletes (both in salads and protein shakes), iron helps to transport oxygen around the body, and a deficiency in iron can lead to tiredness and a major obstacle in an athlete’s performance. But an abundance of iron helps with producing energy, and optimal immune function. For every 100g of raw crickets, the body receives a healthy 10 milligram shot of iron–an essential component for any endurance athlete.
Vitamin B12: In addition to taking care of pregnant women and their babies, B12 helps to keep the body’s nerve and blood cells healthy. B12 is mostly known for its energy-releasing properties and actually helps to prevent a type of anemia called “megaloblastic anemia” which makes people weak and tired.
Omega 3 & 6 Oils: These fatty acids not only manage heart disease, but Omega6 also plays a crucial role in brain function which can help stimulate skin and hair growth and maintain bone health.
If you’re an athlete looking for an efficient and sustainable way to boost performance, that also covers all your nutrition and vitamin bases, check out our Chirp Snack-Packs and Cricket Protein Powder.
Le Cricket Queen