Skip to content Exit mobile menu

Feature: Nutrition Tips for Rugby World Cup Finalists

News article section heading

Feature: Nutrition Tips for Rugby World Cup Finalists

Image:
clock
SHARE TwitterFacebookLinkedin
With the Rugby World Cup 2015 Final looming and both teams having used St Mary’s University, Twickenham as their Team Base, we caught up with MSc Applied Sports Nutrition Programme Director Gill Horgan to find out her top tips for the players preparing for the biggest stage in Rugby. Gill is a Sports Dietitian and Registered Sport & Exercise Nutritionist and has worked with high performance athletes and coaches for over 20 years, including professional Rugby clubs. Top tips: Carbohydrates form the basis of every meal for the players but competition day is different. Well timed carbs are needed to make sure energy levels are met. Carbs, combined with protein, allow for recovery from the gruelling semi-finals and prepare players for the all-important final game. Protein is vital for muscle building and repair, but it should be balanced as part of the overall diet. There’s an assumption that rugby players only eat protein but when it comes to game preparation, carbs are king. Fats from foods like oily fish, avocado and unsaturated fats help with recovery and allow the body to function well. Fluid intake is essential to get right. Players are professionals so they know their own bodies and how much to drink in the build up to, during and after a game to remain hydrated. Avoid spicy or greasy foods – a cheeky curry or kebab in the run up to a game risks disrupting the digestive process. If a player insists on fast food, I would advise them to stick to Nandos or somewhere similar - as long as it’s lightly spiced! Timing is key - the meal before a game needs to be eaten 2-4 hours before hand to allow time for digestion. It also needs to be familiar to the player to avoid disruption. Just before the game, players might want to top up their energy levels with an energy gel, bar, banana or drink. No booze - you can forget about celebrations for the victorious semi-finalists. Players will avoid alcohol until after the final. So the champagne will have to stay on ice until the whistle is blown. For the winners at least! Gill’s menu plan for a Rugby World Cup finalist: Breakfast
  • Water
  • 2-4 slices of wholemeal toast with honey
  • Porridge or high fibre breakfast cereal with berries and 125g pot of low fat fruit yoghurt
Snack
  • 25g nuts
  • 50g flapjack
Lunch Eaten 4 hours before match to the player’s needs (practised during training).
  • 350-500ml water
  • Eggs on toast/lean meat or tuna in brine and salad sandwich
  • Fruit and yoghurt
1-2 hours before match:
  • Bananas/toast and honey/energy bar
  • Water or sports drink
4pm match time
  • During match: Water/sports drink during stoppages
  • Half time: energy bars/gels/sports drinks/water
After the match:
  • Recovery drink/flavoured milk/milk and flapjack/sandwich and yoghurt/soup and rolls
  • Meal as desired
SHARE TwitterFacebookLinkedin