For all athletes, eating well is a crucial part of a routine. Your performance can rely on what you put into your body, so the correct diet choices are key. For rugby players eating well is especially vital, as this gruelling sport demands a lot, and can take a lot out of your body too.
The following foods can help you perform at your optimum, and whether you follow a vegan lifestyle, are an avid carnivore or prefer a mix of the two, you can adapt this diet plan to suit your needs.
One of the most important parts of any rugby player’s diet, protein provides a building block and is a power food. Most players need to consume between 1.5 and 2 grams of protein per one kilogram body weight to sustain growth, muscle strength and overall health. Eggs, meat, chicken and fish are all excellent protein sources, and you should always avoid high amounts of saturated fats in protein, as these can make you lethargic.
High fibre foods like oats are perfect for rugby players, as they slowly release energy, making them ideal for sustaining energy both in-match and during rugby drills like those found at Sportplan.
You can think of beans and pulses as muscle foods as they are very rich in magnesium, and magnesium is crucial for muscle recovery and relaxation. They are also high in fibre and an excellent source of protein, so they promote muscle strength too.
Brassicas like broccoli and cabbage are excellent for detoxing and increasing antioxidant protection. They also aid the body in recovering, and this is very important when engaging in a high impact sport like rugby. Brassicas boost your immune system too and can help stave off infection, which is especially important when you are training.
Energy Boosting Carbs
There are good carbs and bad carbs, and the good carbs you need to include in your diet are unrefined foods like brown rice and pasta. These unrefined carbs release energy slowly, and can also reduce the chances of storing unwanted fats. The trick is to eat good carbs about three hours before you play, as this gives your body time to digest them properly and convert them into an energy source.