Eating for Rugby

Eating for Rugby OR  Learning to Eat for Rugby

This must go hand in hand with the previous four articles on


The previous articles discussed what to eat and why we need to eat them, they also indicated the use of protein in training specifically for youth rugby players trying to gain weight and muscle, or simply muscle.  They discussed why we ned to avoid =certain foods and why.

Here we are simply discussing when to eat and why!

In Season Training

We as rugby players in training and lets face it we probably never stop training its only the method of training that changes, When we are in season we are training two nights a week and possibly four if we are maintaining a weights program or alternative training sessions ( swimming, biking, yoga , to name a few)

Post Season Rest:

Wrong – Too often we stop and forget how hard it is to start again and deal with D.O.M.S ,  Or we start again and wonder why we are even playing or we forget why we play the game or sport . We really need to maintain some fitness base for 4 – 6 weeks and then get into weights and other activities or even another sport for the off season months, ugh as touch, cricket, baseball.

Then we remember that we need to add bulk and stop the injuries so we get back to the weights facility of our choice, and start again .

Off Season Training

Here we refer back to Post Season rest – and consider where we are at and when to start – for some it may well be the rugby academy, or an alternate training system run by the club for fun. Whatever it is we need to get adjusting how and what and when we eat

Preseason training

Now we are getting back to 5 days a week , other thats weights for 3 days or 4, running cycling or swimming for the other two sessions but we will be doing 5 to 6 sessions a week and again we need to eat accordingly especially if we are doing weights and pushing for hypertrophy, or power or pure strength.

The we are Back to the season

Learning to Eat for Rugby

All of the above sessions and periods of training require an eating plan , yes there will be some variation in quantities but not in timings.

So If you follow our recommended eating program you will see that we are allowing food intakes before and after most activity periods throughout the day –

Breakfast is exactly that!  The ability to Break the Fast that you have been doing while asleep so breakfast is important  its role is to put back what we burned overnight as we tried to recover form previous days activities. ( 1000 calories )

Morning tea at 10am is to put back what you have burned between breakfast and 10am – possibly 2 to 4 hours.  It does not matter whether its at work or at school or University. You are active and you are burning calories.( 200 calories is enough)

Then Lunch 2 – 3 hrs later is the main balance of the active day and gets you ready for the afternoons activities – skipping lunch deprives the system of essential foods – it does not have to be massive its only got to be 400 or so calories 

Afternoon snack at 3 to 4pm gets you ready for any training sessions you may have in the late afternoon or / as well as topping you off after any school sports activity.  ( 400 calories )

Then comes Training, and either a snack on the way home – depending how long it is before tea / evening meal –

Now for the Evening meal and we expect that to be at least 1,000 Calories and usually at about 7pm to 8pm

Then we get ready for the Fast – as stated normally we eat at 6pm to 7pm – get to bed at 10pm and fast till 6am –

What we need to consider now is do we need to top up – If we are a youth rugby player and we are looking to gain weight and build muscle we need to top off  and yes now we have to add extra into your system to balance what we need to allow for weight gain and muscle growth – remembering that the evening meal was possibly 1000 to 1200 calories and if you trained hard for 1.5 hrs you would have burned close to 800 calories – that would leave 400 calories for the night – 400 Calories for 8 hours is not enough  to allow you to recover and deal with growing, or gaining muscle mass.

Lets top off the system with a protein shake every night to keep the balance and too catch up  roughly 400 calories would do!

Snacks and in between meals 

On the previous pages we have discussed  the types of foods and drinks we recommend – try and follow those lists , one area of concern is rehydration at all times, water is the best during the day and learning that yellow urine is a sure sign of dehydration and lack of fluid intake so be sure to check –

Non Training Days and Recovery

In conclusion we need to check heart rates as stated HERE  to ensure that we are recovering on a daily and weekly basis , its better to have a light day and assist your recovery than to do nothing, however if thats what it takes to get your recovery back on track then have a no training day.