5 Tips for Optimum Nutrition for Rugby
What can be normally gleaned from a rugby player’s nutrition is a diet rich in beer, pies and pastries washed down with late nights and niggling groins.
Nutrition for rugby in the modern era has moved more towards high protein shakes, carb feasts the night before a match and luminous coloured sports drinks.
Now far from me to throw a spanner in the works but the game is moving forward again, This time with a focus on obtaining optimal health and good nutritional habits. It makes sense. How you can expect to thrive in any sport, not just rugby, with an internal environment that provides you with as much energy as a corpse.
So here are some tips for you to provide a more balanced body and give your performance a kick start.
1. Eat for health rather than ‘your sport‘
Eating for health requires that you take a more holistic approach to your nutrition for rugby than just eating to ‘put on mass’ or ‘lose fat’. 9 time out of ten using such a specific approach will mean you reach your goals but at the expense of your health.
Take for instance a very high protein approach. The pros of this approach will be that you will become leaner. You may also gain muscle mass. I mean who can argue with the weekend warrior whose diet consists of boiled chicken and egg whites. The problem, however, comes when you look closer at the sheer acid load of this diet. Imflammation, acidosis, leaching of your alkaline minerals, deoxygenated blood are all side effects that will affect your overall performance. In the long run, your performance is sacrificed for your looks.
2. Consume whole foods 90% of the time
This is easy to follow. When eating for rugby, look at your plate and snacks. How many of them come from unprocessed sources? I like the one step rule. How far removed from your food’s natural source are the objects on your plate? an orange is one step. A jaffa cake is about 20 steps. A lentil stew is two steps. Keeping this rule in mind it stands to reason that eating for rugby is simple. Eat whole, unprocessed foods 90 per cent of the time. This includes (but not limited to) vegetables, legumes, beans, seeds, nuts, oils, meats, poultry, fish, quinoa and brown rice.
3. Eat more alkaline fruits and vegetables overall
Electron rich, alkaline vegetables will provide you with energy for rugby and for life in general. Key veggies are anything green alongside the uber fruits such as avocado, tomatoes and low sugar varieties including blueberries, raspberries and blackberries. Rich in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals these powerhouse of nutrition will turbo charge your rugby performance by keeping imflammation at bay, hormones fully active and in balance and your muscle building potential in full swing. Look at gorillas!
4. Boost Your Oil Intake
Adding 1-2 tbsp of oil to your feedings will significantly enhance your health and well-being giving your rugby fitness a boost along the way. It stads to reason that the trillions of cells that make up our body are largely made up of fat, particularly the cell membrane that stands as a gatekeeper to nutrients coming in and nutrients coming out. Oils such as plant based oils, hemp, avocado and olive alongside pharmacy grade fish oil will reduce imflammation too allowing you to recover faster and maintain and much healthier condition of your body.
5. Up Your Water Intake
It stands to reason that if you follow the 80-20 rule when it comes to health (80 per cent of your results comes from 20 per cent of your efforts) that consuming far more water is top of the list. Upping your water intake to 3-4 litres of filtered, ionised and alkaline water will send your rugby fitness through the roof. Start by including some lemon juice in your water alongside using a good filter jug and some pH drops. Your energy for training and matches will be right up there.
Take one tip and implement one a week. Watch your training and match performances flourish alongside just being a healthier individual. Not a bad trade off!