Rugby Training Week

Prepared for a Saturday Game 1 pm k.o

Outlined in this article is the nutrition advice I would give for a typical week

Monday – Thursday

1.    This part of the week you should be having a relatively normal diet. 
Everybody’s ‘normal’ is different, and as you become more aware of your diet and how food affects you, this will change.  Without going into detail key aspects which you should be  concentrating on are decreasing sugars (apart from post sessions), eating frequency (every 2-3 hours), higher protein snacks (nuts, hummus etc), and hydration.

Thursday – Friday

1.    Increasing the proportion of carbohydrate in meals is important in this period. The exact meal you should increase this, depends on, what makes you feel best on game day. I find in general the forwards can keep a relatively normal diet with only increasing the carbohydrate content the night before the game, with backs it maybe Thursday night onwards.

2.    Carbohydrates that are best are slower absorbing varieties such as sweet potato, brown rice etc

3.    Note on Pasta’s/Bread – Some players find if they have pasta or bread the  night before a game they can feel a bit heavy on game day.  Take a note of what you are eating and how you feel on game day (see if this is you).


1.    Timing of meals is very important on game day.  Find the ideal balance, so you are not hungry yet not heavy in the stomach. Most people do well on a pre-match meal 3 hours before kick-off, while others find they need it to be four hours  and/or they need a snack one hour before the game. Below is based on a 3 hour game preparation.

2.    When you wake have a small bowl of whole oat porridge with natural yoghurt (stay away from putting sugar or syrup on it). 

3.    10am Pre match meal – Meals such as chicken thighs on rice with steamed broccoli, or fish with sweet potato.  This is the time to get your protein from white meats such as chicken, turkey and fish rather than red meat. Keep increasing you carbohydrates.

4.    12pm - If you need to have a meal have fruit such as a banana with natural yoghurt.

5.    Game – Throughout the game sip on an isotonic (carbohydrate) drink, If you can only stomach water, still have a mouth full of isotonic drink, but swirl it around in your mouth and spit out.

6.    Post game:  Have about a 60-80g of carbohydrate (either in drinks or food).  Take around 30-40g protein as well.  Make sure you have this within 30minutes of finishing the game.

7.    Post match meal: This meal is important for your recovery. A meal high in carbohydrates is important to help your body recover. Add as many anti-inflammatory fresh herbs such as ginger, garlic, coriander, basil etc to your meal.  If you do not feel like eating then make sure you have something like a soup.

8.    Continue to hydrate


1.    To recover fully you need to make sure your diet continues to be full of fresh herbs, and continue a higher than normal carbohydrate portion.

2.    Continue to hydrate.


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