To get the best out of yourself as a rugby player, you need to pay attention to diet. What should you eat?! Well here we have out top 5 tips for a rugby players diet….
One small hole that makes a big difference for rugby players is their mouth.
I’m not talking about all the bullshit that comes out of it when you’ve just smashed your opposite number.
I’m talking about diet.
Right now you might want me to say something like:
Your meal plan should look like this
Meal 1: Eggs
Meal 2: Chicken and salad
Meal 3: Tuna and Rice
Meal 4: Protein Shake
Meal 5: Steak and Potatoes.
Well if that’s what you were hoping you were going to read then I’m afraid that you’re at least the second person I’m disappointing today!
It ain’t that fucking simple homeboy!
Everyone’s different, they have different goals, different bodies and different minds.
These differences mean that one-size-fits-all eating plans are a bit shitty when it comes to rugby players. We need to make the diet individual.
So here’s our 5 top tips for ya…
1. EAT ENOUGH TO PERFORM
As a rugby player your number 1 goal should be to perform better. That’s on the pitch, training field and in the gym, all of which should be pretty tough and taxing on the body.
To perform at your best here you need to make sure that you recover from your previous sessions.
No-carb diets go out the window instantly.
You need carbs to recover from each training session, and often for energy to train.
Too many guys don’t eat enough because they’re worried about getting fat but with the amount of activity a rugby player gets through they need to eat more.
2. BUT MAKE SURE YOU’RE NOT EATING TOO MUCH
If you’re a skinny guy who wants to pack on size quickly, ignore this point, no food is too much for you right now!
The 2nd thing I see a lot of guys doing when they’re trying to get in great shape for rugby is eating too much.
I know this is the opposite of point 1, so let me try and explain in a bit more detail.
You see, as a rugby player, you need to eat carbs for recovery and energy, quite a lot of them too. But if you’re eating high carbs then fat should be relatively low.
Yes, healthy fats like nuts are good for you, but gorging them but the pile is going to make it hard to lose fat.
Whilst we’re on the subject of eating too much, it’s important to be aware that the supplement industry is just trying to bullshit you into buy loads of protein when they tell you how much protein you need.
I see a lot of guys when they first start out eating way too much protein when they should be concentrating on the carbs that help them recover. A good number to hit with protein is around 2grams of protein per kilo bodyweight.
These two points are kinda conflicting I know, so I’ll simplify it.
If you’re struggling to lose a bit of fat, make sure your diet isn’t heavy on the fats and eat slightly less. If you’re struggling to gain muscle, make sure that you’re eating enough carbs and consistently getting stronger.
This leads us into the next point.
3. YOU SHOULD KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU’RE EATING
So when guys tell me they’re struggling to diet, I always ask the same question.
“What are you eating at the moment?”
This stumps a lot of them, and leads to them correcting themselves once they realise what they’re eating.
How can you improve your diet if you don’t know what you’re eating in the first place?
You can’t! Try keeping a food diary (I use MyFitnessPal) for a week, then making the adjustments that you see.
This process will make you so much more aware of what you’re eating, particularly with regards to protein and fat.
For you that want to lose fat, you may notice some unconscious snacking that you can cut out. For those that are looking to gain, you may notice a need to eat more food!
4. DON’T WORRY TOO MUCH ABOUT FOOD TIMING
This is another issue that comes up a lot with guys because of the bullshit in the supplement industry.
“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day”
“You need to eat often to keep the metabolism going”
“You need to consume a shake straight after the gym”
None of which are true.
There has been a tonne of research on food timing and it’s effects, all of which has found only one factor that food timing has on results.
- Adherence – how well you stick to the diet.
Basically you need to find what works for YOU.
Some lads can’t stomach huge meals, so they need to eat smaller meals.
Others, like myself, love scoffing down a huge platter of goodness, ideally with a shovel.
So eating fewer meals, with a big meal at dinner (I’m talking like 3 plates here) is a better way of eating.
Finally, you need to figure out what is the best time for you to eat before training for you to train the best. Again, this is individual, and is also where that food diary helps, some lads like to eat an hour or less before they train to get the best out of themselves, others have problems if they eat less than 3 hours before a training session.
To summarise, don’t overthink this stuff – just see what works for you.
5. DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY ON CRAPPY SUPPLEMENTS
I am taking two supplements at the moment – fish oil and a multivitamin.
Wind back to when I was at Uni and I had a huge cupboard full of different powders and tablets, among them were words that I can’t pronounce and a tablet formula known as “Horny Goat Weed”… seriously.
Those that are at Uni know of the money struggles that go on without having to waste a half their loan on supplements.
So I’ve been there. The thing is with supplements is that whilst they make a difference, it’s about 0.1% of a difference for about 60% extra effort and cost.
In our opinion the majority of supplements are not only a waste of time, but they can also ruin your health.
Some (very few) supplements have their place, but only once your diet and training is completely on point. Don’t waste your energy and thoughts trying to find some great supplements.
Your money is much better spent on quality programming and coaching!!
Did you find any of these points helpful?!
Comment below if you did