There are few sports as physical as rugby. It’s therefore not surprising that a rugby players diet must enable him to withstand the vigorous training and equip him to reach peak performance.
Recently, a friend of mine who plays rugby, asked me about suitable foods for his training, and specifically about protein intake for muscle building.
So, for the benefit of others also interested in this subject, here are a few pointers.
If you play a sport that’s similar, something like a rugby players diet may form a good basis. I leave that for you to decide.
A healthy diet for regular activity should consist of:
- At least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables daily.
- Plenty of starchy carbohydrate foods, particularly high fibre varieties.
- Small amounts of protein.
- Small amounts of low fat dairy products.
- A reduction in the amount of fat, fatty foods, and sugary foods eaten.
- Plenty of fluids throughout the day.
A rugby players diet
According to Sports Dietitians of Australia the training diet of a rugby player should:
- Be high in energy to help with muscle gain – eat three meals and regular snacks everyday.
- Be high in carbohydrate rich foods – breakfast cereal, bread, muffins, crackers and crisp breads, muesli bars, rice, pasta, potatoes, fruit, smoothies. These should form the basis for most meals and snacks. This will help with exercise performance, recovery from training, and muscle gain.
- Be moderate in protein rich foods – meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans, peas, lentils, unsalted nuts. There is no need to eat masses of extra protein to “bulk up.” Remember protein rich foods are not the main source of energy for exercise. In most cases the amount of protein required can be achieved simply by following a balanced healthy diet, which contains sufficient carbohydrate. If you’re interested in finding out your individual protein requirements, check out DISEN.
- Make sure meals are low in fat – try to avoid too much margarine, fatty meats, high fat takeaway and snacks, fried food and creamy sauces.
- Include at least 5 servings of fruit and vegetables each day – necessary for preventing illness, building muscles and repairing injury.
- Be low in alcohol as it leads to poor recovery, slow repair of injury, and contribute to excess weight. If you drink alcohol do so in moderation.
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