Rugby is a sporting event that consumes approximately 80 minutes on the pitch. During this specific exercise there are low-intensity and high-intensity activities as well which include running, tackling, and competing for the ball. These activities consumes around 15% of the total on-pitch playing time. During competitive games forwards usually cover between 4,000 – 5,000 meters and backs tend to cover between 5,500 – 5,750 metres. With such intense characteristics coupled with change in movement patterns every 5-7 seconds, speed and acceleration have been found to be crucial aspects towards successful performances in any game.
With perceived energy consumption during rugby activity it is therefore recommended that athletes should consume well balanced diet that comprises of all the food groups. Professional players should consume around 5-6 small meals in a single day.
Carbohydrates are very important part of a rugby player’s diet because they provide the required energy to fuel training and matches. This implies that foodstuff such as potatoes, rice, fruits, vegetables, wheat bread and pasta should be used during the day, before and after training, and carbohydrates should be strictly controlled in the evening. Players should focus mainly on unrefined carbohydrates. For instance, unrefined whole grains comprises of all the parts of the grain including germ which is nutrient rich, the endosperm which is the middle part, and the bran which is the fibre rich outer layer.
Players are also required to consume high level protein because their training focuses mostly on personal strength. This requires that protein should be available in all meals that are consumed throughout the day. Most focus should be on post training due to the rapid number of collisions when playing the game. When it comes to proteins it is recommended that both animal and plant sources should be combined and players should focus on low fat protein.
When players consume well balanced diets blood flows throughout the body in the right manner hence the players body is able to withstand rigour associated with the physical game.