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The Essential Guide to Supplements for Rugby players

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Rugby is one of the most demanding sport to train for, as it requires athletes to focus on their speed, strength, and size all at the same time. Matches are then so demanding physically that you are required to undergo a rapid recovery process in order to prepare your body for more gruelling training sessions and matches just days afterward. It is no surprise that, once you start taking rugby seriously, you need to have a keen eye on your diet to make sure you’re fuelling your body with all the necessary ingredients. A balanced diet is a great way to start, but for maximum performance, there is a wide range of different supplements available to give you that physical edge. With so much choice, it’s often hard to know where to start, so to help, here is your ultimate guide to supplements for rugby players:

Strength and power

Whey protein

When it comes to muscle growth and aiding recovery, whey protein is the perfect addition to a high protein diet. Studies suggest consuming 1.5g to 2g of powder per kilo of bodyweight each day, and to consume within 10 minutes of finishing exercise to help maximise results.

Creatine

Creatine has been well researched by scientists who suggest around 5g per day for maximum results. Creatine can give you an added boost of strength and power in training and during matches, as well giving you added weight.

Beta-Alanine

Beta-Alanine can improve your energy levels during high-intensity workouts by stopping your pH levels from falling. Many choose to take 5g of this alongside their creatine for the greatest overall benefits.

BCAA’s

Branched Chain Amino Acids are a great addition to your water during training to help prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, aid recovery and increase energy levels.

Recovery

Greens powder – vitamins and pro-biotics

Multivitamins and pro-biotics help your body from the inside-out by maintaining regular functions and helping to prevent sickness. You can take a range of tablets or supplements, or opt for Green Powder which, though not tasting particularly pleasant, gives you one powerful hit of what you need.

ZMA

Taken just before bed, this zinc and magnesium and B6 formula helps encourage testosterone production and normal muscle functioning.

Fish oils

Fish oil is a favourite supplement for maintaining healthy joints well into old age and is a must-have for any hard-hitting rugby player.

Glucosamine

Some choose this as an alternative, or use alongside, fish oil, to maintain healthy supple joints. It can be taken all year round and should normally be taken with meals.

Bulking

All-in-one

For that added boost in size during pre-season, all-in-ones provide a hefty supply of protein and carbs to take your training up a notch. It shouldn’t be taken all year round but can support heavy training and muscle abuse during long winter training sessions.

Oats

Fine oats are often used to provide additional carbohydrates alongside protein shakes and between meals.

It should be noted that no amount of supplement can make up for a poor diet. They are called “supplements” for a reason, as they are supposed to work alongside a normal healthy diet, rather than to replace it. You should also realise that there is no substitute for real hard work both on the pitch and off, and you should steer well clear of any prohibited substances. Put in the work, focus on your diet, and love the game – you’ll find that the results will soon follow.

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