Any athlete will tell you that a well-balanced and healthy diet is just as important to the sport you’re involved in as the training itself. In order to keep your body fighting fit you have to incorporate everything it needs into your food as part of a daily routine.
This means if you want to get serious about rugby, sport or even just staying healthy it’s time to start paying attention to what you’re eating. First, you’ll want to make sure that you are focusing on adding unprocessed and fresh foods to your diet, things like processed food, saturated fats, refined sugars and alcohol can all lead to poor performance and health issues so try to steer clear of these when possible. There are of course more specific foods that you should consider incorporating so let’s take a look at these and their benefits. It is worth mentioning that it is worth consulting a dietician in order to work out a serious and well-balanced plan that is perfect not just for your training but for your lifestyle too.
You’ll have no doubt heard it before but protein is one of the key things to take note of when training, especially for something as physical as rugby. There are plenty of foods that can help top up those protein levels, the most obvious being meats and fish but there are plenty of vegetables and nuts that will help too. If you want to top up on the stuff without eating an unhealthy amount there are also plenty of protein shakes that can help to do this too. On average players will need to consume somewhere between 1.5g and 2g of protein per kilogram of bodyweight to help sustain one’s muscle weight and growth. Carbs are another necessity; they’ll give you the energy you need to push yourself through the day. It’s worth paying attention to how you take in carbs though, avoid anything that has an excess or either sugars or salts. Players will usually require roughly 7g of carbs per kilogram of body weight. Contrary to general belief, small amounts of fat are required in order to provide fuel for and protect the organs in your body. That being said take note of the type of fat you are consuming, again, avoid saturated fats, these will cause lethargy which can severely hinder your training.
Breakfast is as they say, the most important meal of the day, if you want to keep going throughout the day and stay energised for the games ahead, you’ll want to look at starting your day with something that releases slow energy. Oats are one best the choices you can make in order to achieve this, get some porridge on the go using either low-fat milk, a milk alternative or water. To add some flavour, you can throw in a handful off berries which contain antioxidants too. You’ll have yourself a healthy, wholesome and tasty breakfast that’ll keep you going all day long.