Oct 26, 2020

6 min read

Keeping Up with Rugby Players’ Diets

Within a previous article, we introduced ACS Tomitanii Constanța — Romanian professional rugby club. Through the contributions of our interviewees — Adrian Ion, Ngoni Chibuwe, and Ionuț Coman — along with additional academic and practical research, we aim to highlight the versatile nature of rugby players’ diets and the factors by which these are influenced, revealing some useful and even unexpected findings. So what have we learnt?


Moving on, an example of how nutritional needs vary with body type denotes from our players’ answers. Ionuț — who falls close to the ectomorph side — observed that reducing meat consumption enhances his energy levels, especially when running. Ngoni on the other hand — who fits more within the mesomorph side — emphasises how essential proteins, including meats, are for maintaining energy, strength, and recovery time.


Furthermore, distinct gender-related attitudes towards nutrition are ubiquitous, and are impacted by psychological and socio-cultural factors. Such differences emerge in the early stages of life, commonly leading to women having higher knowledge and concern towards nutrition, usually due to beauty standards and social pressure. This pattern is just as present in the sports world.


Even as a highly active, professional rugby player, Adrian highlighted the importance of an adequate diet: “Of course, I have to be careful. Although there are times when I ‘forget about the diet’, when I’m on holidays, for the most part, I need to take care, since I am not as young anymore and my body reacts differently now. I don’t eat bread and fried foods anymore, except for rare occasions. I also cut off sweets and sugary drinks. You need to be balanced in order to maintain and exceed your level, and this implies making sacrifices.”


Constanța, the club’s base, is a seaside city. Here, our players revealed an enthusiastic atmosphere and a passion for food. A two course meal is common in the Romanian cuisine — usually starting off with a light soup, followed by a main dish, oftentimes meat-based or rich in proteins, accompanied by a side dish and a healthy salad.


Although rare within rugby, Ionuț is now vegetarian for almost a year and is feeling amazing. “Coaches are telling me ‘to eat more and gain weight’, but I think it depends on each person. I sense a positive difference.” He also follows a strict, consistent schedule before games. His initiatives are particularly based on his value of living a healthy life. Ngoni follows a different approach, preferred as it helps him achieve his best potential. This involves eating a lot of proteins, unprocessed or lightly processed veggies, and drinking plenty of water. Before a match, he prioritises carbs, cuts off sugars and importantly, getting eight hours of sleep.


For example, during pre-season, training is highly intense, especially strength training. This is followed by a more relaxed approach throughout the game week, so that the players do not risk burning out. All these reveal the need for an adequate, nutritious diet that can sustain players’ efforts and recovery, so as to maintain their health and potential.


Thank you for your time! Tell us, which factors influence your diet choices most, and how does your diet help you in achieving your goals?


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Driven by our passion for sports, we have made it our goal to contribute to the development of the sports world. // 私たちはスポーツへの情熱を胸に、スポーツ界の発展に貢献することを目標としています。

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