Rugby is a physically demanding sport, requiring strength and endurance and stamina. Nutrition can play a vital role in performance, as the body needs the correct fuel to function correctly and cope with the demands of the game. There are many ways to improve your daily nutritional intake including breakfast shakes and lunch time snacks.
Consider some of the following when preparing for rugby training drills or matches.
1. A Good Breakfast
It can be tempting to skip breakfast when time is short, but a nutritious breakfast can help stabilise blood sugar and energy levels for the day. Avoid cereals, as even muesli and ‘healthy’ choices often have hidden sugars. It may take slightly longer, but a breakfast containing protein such as eggs will be filling and satisfying.
Planning your meals can ensure you have the correct ingredients ready to make nutritious meals at the right times. Aim to eat every 3-4 hours to keep blood sugar levels stable and eat around 2-3 hours before rugby training drills or matches to allow your body sufficient time to digest food before exercise.
3. Eat Enough of the Right Foods
The body needs extra calories for exercising, but it will gain more from a nutritious meal than from the equivalent calories from junk food. Protein, carbohydrates, fruit, vegetables and healthy fats give the body the range of nutrients required for the physical challenge of rugby.
It is important to build muscle strength for the demands of the game. Skills and strength can be improved with training, and rugby training drills are found online at Sportplan. Exercises such as these, in conjunction with protein in your diet, will strengthen muscles. Protein is an important micronutrient for the human body: it helps build and repair muscle tissue, as well as providing energy. The more training you do, the more protein your body needs.
Do not underestimate the importance of refuelling after exercise. Eating within 30 minutes of physical exercise can help the body recover quicker. A banana and glass of milk are recommended by the NHS after sports, as they provide both carbohydrates and proteins, which help repair damage to muscles and restore depleted energy levels.
All these factors have to be tailored to individual needs, but by considering these tips, rugby players can give themselves the nutritional boost their bodies need to perform on the pitch.