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Competition Nutrition Practices of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players

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posted on 26.05.2021, 00:08 by Logan Posthumus, Kirsty Fairbairn, Katrina Darry, Matthew Driller, Paul Winwood, Nicholas Gill
Thirty-four elite male professional rugby union players from the New Zealand Super Rugby championship completed dietary intakes via the Snap-N-Send method during a seven-day competition week. Mean seven-day absolute energy intake was significantly higher for forwards (4606 ± 719 kcal·day−1) compared to backs (3761 ± 618 kcal·day−1; p < 0.01; d = 1.26). Forwards demonstrated significantly higher mean seven-day absolute macronutrient intakes compared to backs (p < 0.03; d = 0.86–1.58), but no significant differences were observed for mean seven-day relative carbohydrate (3.5 ± 0.8 vs. 3.7 ± 0.7 g·kg·day−1), protein (2.5 ± 0.4 vs. 2.4 ± 0.5 g·kg·day−1), and fat (1.8 ± 0.4 vs. 1.8 ± 0.5 g·kg·day−1) intakes. Both forwards and backs reported their highest energy (5223 ± 864 vs. 4694 ± 784 kcal·day−1) and carbohydrate (4.4 ± 1.2 vs. 5.1 ± 1.0 g·kg·day−1) intakes on game day, with ≈62% of total calories being consumed prior to kick-off. Mean pre-game meal composition for all players was 1.4 ± 0.5 g·kg−1 carbohydrate, 0.8 ± 0.2 g·kg−1 protein, and 0.5 ± 0.2 g·kg−1 fat. Players fell short of daily sports nutrition guidelines for carbohydrate and appeared to “eat to intensity” by increasing or decreasing energy and carbohydrate intake based on the training load. Despite recommendations and continued education, many rugby players select what would be considered a “lower” carbohydrate intake. Although these intakes appear adequate to be a professional RU player, further research is required to determine optimal dietary intakes.

History

Publication Date

18/05/2021

Journal

International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health

Volume

18

Issue

10

Pagination

(p. 5398-5398)

Publisher

MDPI AG

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The Author reserves all moral rights over the deposited text and must be credited if any re-use occurs. Documents deposited in OPAL are the Open Access versions of outputs published elsewhere. Changes resulting from the publishing process may therefore not be reflected in this document. The final published version may be obtained via the publisher’s DOI. Please note that additional copyright and access restrictions may apply to the published version.

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