The rugby world cup is well on its way and as you watch these man mountains hurtling around and throwing themselves into each other for 80 minutes, you may find yourself wondering what on earth fuels these guys?!
Passion, determination and ambition all play their part, but the real fuel that drives these individuals is food—and lots of it! The question is: which types of food and in what quantity?
Statistics show that the average amount of energy that a rugby player burns during a lengthy training period is a whopping 7000 calories! This is almost three times the amount of food a normal adult male should consume during the day. That’s a lot of food and as you can imagine, eating has to occur regularly throughout the day to enable the consumption of all this vital fuel.
Most professionals have 4-5 meals a day instead of the national average of three, and when they do eat, they pack them with protein and carbohydrates.
So what would be a good day’s intake in food?
Protein and carbohydrates are the idea here. The carbohydrates are needed to power you, the protein to fuel your muscles and provide the necessary nutrients for them to grow. A breakfast of beans, poached eggs, bacon and bread is ideal here.
During the 2007 World Cup, the England team would tuck into all sorts of chicken recipes, lamb, pork chops and spinach for breakfast. On top of that, they would also load up with porridge, muesli and scrambled eggs.
For lunch potato and rice recipes are always good, especially when they are served with a healthy portion of meat. A pasta dish like a classic lasagne recipe with a lot of vegetables will help provide enough fuel for the afternoon’s intense training.
After lunch comes that famous meal not many of us are too familiar with—‘second lunch’. As we said, these guys need to eat a lot.
The aim here is to replenish the vital nutrients that were burned during training. A more balanced meal is appropriate here, with a 50/50 split between protein and carbohydrates being the ideal ratio. This will help your body rebuild and repair quickly so that it is ready for more training, or more importantly, a game! Fish recipes are perfect for such an occasion.
Steak and salad, chicken and greens, fish and steamed greens are all good recipe ideas here. Too many carbohydrates in the evening gives your body more energy than it needs while it is in a resting state. This means sleep can be disturbed, which you certainly do not want during an important competition.
Our boys certainly don’t appear to be unfit, so clearly all this food is necessary fuel for a man mountain. They may have to take a battering and put up with intense pressure, but eating five meals a day must be a joy! I think we have found some ideal candidates to test all the fantastic recipes here at MyDish. Maybe MyDish can even start its own rugger team? Anyone interested?!
Good luck boys!