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RUGBY SEVENS: Nutrition and Training

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  • RUGBY SEVENS: Nutrition and Training

    Hi all,

    I am about 1 month into the paleo living adaptation period and am already loving the extra feeling of energy, leaner body and increased performance in training.

    I am a competitive rugby sevens player which has very different demands to conventional rugby. It requires a blend of explosive power for acceleration, tackling, jumping or even wrestling for a ball, repetitive sprints and endurance as you can cover up to 2 miles per game(which lasts 14 minutes). The games are played as tournaments so you play between 4 - 6 games in a day depending on whether you make the cup finals. This means you often have to wait between 30mins to 3hours between matches depending on the tournament. Therefore your body tends to cool down and shut down after a 30 min rest.

    The training for this involves a mix of sprints, middle distance runs at a relative pace and strength/explosive training.

    As i am still learning, I am trying to learn how many carbs I should be consuming during the training periods as most of them are intense. Also, on tournament days I find it hard to eat anything in between matches, is there a good way to keep energy levels up and feel loose without having to eat much? advice is much appreciated on the best nutrition routine.


  • #2
    Man rugby 7s is tough. Tons of sprinting. You are going to want to eat a lot of carbs - but just as importantly lots of food. It's hard not restricting your calories when you transition to primal eating just because you stop eating grains, rice, sugar etc -- stuff with lots of energy that is quickly consumed and doesn't fill you up. I would worry more about not consuming enough calories/carbs than consuming too many. Personally I find it very hard to overeat on Primal/paleo.
    ad astra per aspera


    • #3
      Hi Hedge,

      I played football (or soccer) competitively in college while on a primal/paleo diet. Although it doesn't sound near as demanding as seven's maybe I can give you some insights.

      On game days, I'd always consume two huge sweet potatoes beforehand - practices, only one sweet potato. Besides that, the only other carbs in my diet were fruit, a few carbs from nuts, and some less-starchy vegetables (tomatoes, greens, broccoli, etc).

      If I only consumed one sweet potato before games (as I did a couple times), I noticed a significant difference in energy levels, typically culminating in calf cramps by the end of the match.

      So eat lots of carbs, and a fair amount of protein and fat. As a starting number, aim for 150-200 g of carbs before matches. Fruit combined with your own electrolyte drink would probably be a great mid-game snack. You could also throw in a handful of nuts, and a little beef jerky if desired.

      What's your body composition like?
      Travel, eat well, and learn about life - three things I love to do

      Curious about what YOU should pack next time you're on the road? Check out my Definitive Guide to Backpacking Nutrition


      • #4
        You have to train much more than people you know since it's a difficult sport and you need to eat much more food than usual, well you know why.