Diet plays an important part in the physical and mental condition of a rugby player. It is important to get the right nutrients to be able to compete in a full game and concentrate during training sessions. Here are the top 10 foods rugby players should be tucking into.
Greens are great for players, especially broccoli, which supplies important detoxifying chemicals. You should also make sure you are eating a variety of brussels sprouts, bok choi, cauliflower, kale, and cabbage in your diet to help with recovery, liver function, hormonal balance and antioxidant protection. Sweet potatoes are a slow carb providing a good starch for energy, and they contain beta carotene. You can disguise the flavour with spices like garlic, chilli, paprika, oregano or turmeric, which are anti-inflammatory and immune-enhancing. It’s best to cook them with coconut oil as it is good for your immune system and digestion, or you can drizzle olive oil over salads and cooked food as it is full of flavonoids and anti-ageing properties.
Fish and meat matter
Buy the best quality meat you can. Look for free-range at the very least and preferably organic, which means the animal was free from antibiotics or hormones. Chicken and turkey are high-quality, lean sources of protein. Wild salmon is another great source of protein.
Sow those oats
Oats are high in fibre and a source of slow-release energy. Beans and pulses such as kidney beans, peas, chickpeas and lentils are also full of fibre and protein. They are slow carbs that release energy slowly.
Blue is the colour
Blueberries are great for the brain and slow down the ageing process. Other berries can help with this, but none are as effective as blueberries.
Eggs are also high in protein, B vitamins and zinc. They can help sustain lean body mass, rebuild muscle and boost your immune system.
Training can consist of drills or watching a rugby drill video like those at https://www.sportplan.net/drills/Rugby/, so make sure you have a good supply of brain foods. Don’t forget that you will need plenty of water so you don’t dehydrate during training.
The key to healthy eating is to make sure you have a lot of variety in your food and eat a rainbow of colours to keep strong and alert.