Game Day Nutrition. Based on Saturday Game 2.30 kick off Friday
Based on Saturday Game 2.30 kick off
Carb Loading is not required for rugby games, as the event is not long enough to warrant a carb loading protocol. In addition players may feel heavy and slow from increased bodyweight, which can be gained from a full carb loading protocol.
In addition team runs are a very short, low intensity session, therefore your normal eating plan will be sufficient to replace any glycogen utilised during the session.
Remember our aim is to maximise glycogen recovery during the early part of the training week to allow for good recovery, so we can push harder in each training session to allow gains in muscle strength and size.
The time of the game should dictate your pre-match eating habits.
Breakfast (consume no later than 8.00am)
If you have a lay in you will miss the chance to eat breakfast and pre match, this will not only affect your chance of fuelling up for the game, but also make it harder to make gains in lean muscle.
Get up the same time you have all week, your body clock will be used to this time and you will actually feel more alert than if you sleep in.
Breakfast Aims = Good source of slow releasing carbohydrates to ensure glycogen stores are fuelled up, a sufficient serving of protein to maintain lean muscle and fluid to hydrate the body
1-pint water or squash upon rising, if early kick off and hot/humid and cramp prone then add 1 sachet of electrolyte to pint of water.
Snacks leading into game – No sweets or chocolate – game time is not an excuse to eat these
The only thing the Welsh squad snack on are grapes, they provide a small amount of carbs and fluid. In truth once you have eaten breakfast and pre match then there is no need for extra snacks. Some players like to snack to occupy the mind; grapes are fine, as you will not overdo these.
Water and or squash should be fine to consume throughout the day and the just use isotonic drinks during the game
The only exception to this may be for an evening kick off, as it can be a long day there is the possibility of over-hydrating, this is more likely to happen on warm days. In these scenarios it would be advisable to swap to Powerade Zero from pre match onwards. This contains electrolytes so the body will retain the fluid better.
Post Warm Up
Drink 250 ml of isotonic drink such as Powerade ION, this will replace energy used during the warm up and replace fluid loss
In addition drinking at this time will prime the gut; this means any fluids taken on during the game will empty from the stomach quicker.
• Drink sips of isotonic drinks at regular intervals (where possible) during the game.
•At half time aim to drink at least 250ml of isotonic solution.
•Following game drink a further 500ml of isotonic solution or a suitable recovery drink. Drinking plain water in the post exercise/game period causes plasma sodium levels to fall, which stimulates urine output and reduces the feeling of thirst. This will hamper the rehydration process.
• Aim for light carb/protein snacks such as chicken wraps within the hour and then eat larger meal such as spaghetti bolognaise within the next 2 hours
The night of the game is an ideal time for treats; due to the energy expended during the game then any junk food is unlikely to be stored as bodyfat during this time period. However players who do have high bodyfat levels should still eat clean following a game.
5.00 or 7.30 Kick Off
Add a light lunch at 12.00 for 5pm kick off and 2-3pm for 7.30 kick off.
(Pasta/Rice/Potatoes) with small amounts of chicken/turkey/fish, extra bread and high carb desert such as Mullerice, fruit salad, fruit crumble or sponge pudding.
Then Pre match at 2pm for 5pm kick off and 4.30 pm for 7.30 kick off
*If in school, college or work before an evening kick off then make sure you prepare good food choices to bring with you. (if brining meat or chilled foods see food hygiene section for storage tips) Remember preparation is the key of success!!