In our last few blogs, we covered three of the top training trends you are likely to see this year. Although, training trends may come and go, the importance of health and nutrition, as part of a holistic approach to your rugby career, can never be overemphasised. We share a few tips on what you need to consider in planning for your eating habits and nutritional needs.
MATCH UP MATE
As would be expected, a rugby players’ nutrition plan will look quite different to that of your average gym-goer. This is closely tied to the importance of having a healthy match between your training schedule and eating plans. At school level, you do not need to eat like a professional player, but you should start to work towards developing healthy eating habits in order to set the foundation for easing into stricter, more focused eating plans as you advance in your rugby career.
YOUR PRE-SEASON PLATE
It is important to note that your diet needs to adjust to the seasonal changes of your training. More specifically, increased protein to ensure optimal recovery and muscle growth, and sufficient carbohydrates as your main energy source are key ingredients for your pre-season plate, both before and after training sessions.
Do not eat a large meal less than three hours before the game, so that your body has time to work your meal into your system. Also, don’t change this meal up too much from your normal food choices, as your body works best with consistency. However, getting the energy levels up is the priority here. This means that carbohydrates that are lower in gluten and fibre should be chosen in conjunction with lean proteins.
KEEP IT PERSONAL
It is also really important that your eating plan and nutrition goals are specific to your situation as well as your position and role in the team. Use professional players as a guide, but adjust these outlines to your personal situation. Even if you can’t follow an eating plan as strictly as you would like to, just remember it is most important to make healthy choices, such as eating lean proteins together with slow-releasing carbohydrates and healthy fats.
The Investec International Rugby Academy prioritises nutrition and educates players on the importance and practicality of nutrition as well as what they need to know about supplements.