In this article we look at what professional rugby players eat to stay in shape and be match-ready. While the required number of calories can differ between male and female rugby players (5000–6000 and 3000–4500 calories respectively), the nutritional guidelines are mostly the same for both. In addition, all rugby players must follow a diet that is high in carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.
Carbohydrates The type of carbohydrates a rugby player would normally consume are wholegrain foods such brown rice and brown bread. Cereals high in fiber such as oatmeal and muesli are also regularly eaten. These types of carbohydrates slowly release energy into the body, meaning that players can train throughout the day.
Protein Lean protein is a must for allowing the muscles to recover and get stronger. The types of protein rugby players tend to eat are skinless chicken breast, white fish, lean red meat, and eggs.
Healthy Fats A good balance of healthy fats is also essential to a rugby player’s diet. These can be found in avocados, seeds, nuts, olive oil, eggs, and fatty fish such as salmon. Rugby players need these types of fat to keep their energy levels up. Moreover, these types of fat lessen the chances of clogging the arteries.
It should also be mentioned here that a healthy diet includes plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Lastly, rugby players drink around 2.5 liters of water every day to stay hydrated. Here’s what a typical day of eating for a rugby player could look like.
- two poached eggs on toast
- smoothie made with a banana and skimmed milk
Post Morning Training Snack:
- whole grain crackers with canned tuna
- fresh fruit and yoghurt
- whole meal pasta with tuna, tomato sauce and vegetables.
- peanut butter on toast
- fresh fruit
- lean chicken breast with brown rice and vegetables