Diet and nutrition tips for rugby players

Maintaining a healthy diet is an important part of any athlete’s daily routine; therefore, it is paramount that rugby players take time to consider what they eat and drink.

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To be a good rugby player, you need strength and conditioning that will enable speed and agility. Upper body strength with an agile lower body is a fundamental requirement necessary to compete in this high-speed game of endurance. The game of rugby places huge physical demands on its players and nutrition and training are crucial for top professional players.

Water

The most important element for any sportsperson is hydration. Dehydration causes a reduction in strength and speed and can lead to injury. Three litres of water per day is the minimum amount that should be consumed, using bottled or filtered water. For every 1kg of bodyweight lost, you need to replace it with 1.2 litres of water; during training, you should drink 250ml every 15 minutes.

Protein

Protein is an important part of the diet of a rugby player, with eggs, lean meat, fish and nuts all sources of protein that help with muscle growth. On average, an 80kg person needs 176g of protein per day. Space your eating out over the day, as protein needs time to digest.

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Carbs

Carbohydrates are required for energy and are found in brown rice, fruit and vegetables, and wholemeal and wholegrain foods. Unrefined carbohydrates take longer to digest and slow down the rate of sugar released into the blood. Whilst in training, a player requires 7g of carbohydrates per kg body weight.

Fats

Fats are an important part of a healthy diet – they provide essential fatty acids, deliver vitamins and are a great source of energising fuel. There are two groups of fats – saturated and unsaturated – with the latter the one we need in our diet. Polyunsaturated fats are found mostly in vegetable oil, while omega-3 is found in fatty fish and walnuts. This is an essential part of nutrition.

To be good at their sport, players need to practise rugby drills from resources such as https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/. A rugby drill can focus on any aspect of the game, including passing and handling, rucking and mauling, and the scrum.

Sleep plays an important role for any sportsperson. They should aim for at least eight hours per night, ideally between 10pm and 8am.