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Article

Competition Nutrition Practices of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players

1
Faculty of Health, Education and Environment, Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology, Tauranga 3112, New Zealand
2
Te Huataki Waiora School of Health, The University of Waikato, Hamilton 3216, New Zealand
3
New Zealand Rugby, Wellington 6011, New Zealand
4
School of Allied Health, Human Services and Sport, Sport and Exercise Science, La Trobe University, Melbourne 3086, Australia
5
Faculty of Applied Science, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland 0627, New Zealand
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michal Wilk
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(10), 5398; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105398
Received: 28 April 2021 / Revised: 14 May 2021 / Accepted: 16 May 2021 / Published: 18 May 2021
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. View Full-Text
Keywords: dietary analysis; game day; macronutrients; energy intake; fuelling; team-sport dietary analysis; game day; macronutrients; energy intake; fuelling; team-sport
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MDPI and ACS Style

Posthumus, L.; Fairbairn, K.; Darry, K.; Driller, M.; Winwood, P.; Gill, N. Competition Nutrition Practices of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18, 5398. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105398

AMA Style

Posthumus L, Fairbairn K, Darry K, Driller M, Winwood P, Gill N. Competition Nutrition Practices of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2021; 18(10):5398. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105398

Chicago/Turabian Style

Posthumus, Logan, Kirsty Fairbairn, Katrina Darry, Matthew Driller, Paul Winwood, and Nicholas Gill. 2021. "Competition Nutrition Practices of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players" International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 18, no. 10: 5398. https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18105398

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