1.) Caloric surplus adds mass. The goal is to make as much of that extra mass muscle as possible with as little fat gain as possible. Generally, post-workout that is a high protein/high carb meal. The explanation is as follows:
a.) Your body will utilize the protein to grow muscles.
b.) You are glycogen depleted, so carbs will go to glycogen storage, not converted to fat.
c.) You are in a highly insulin sensitive state, and any excess carbohydrate that may be consumed at this point with all your elevated anabolic hormones will skew it to muscle mass instead of fat mass. Protein will follow this as well, but much less efficiently.
So, essentially for most of us, the post-workout enemy is fat if you are eating a caloric surplus.
2.) Yes. Immensely if you are coming from chronic low-carb. The difference will be extreme.
3.) A moderate protein/moderate carb (fat variable) meal a few hours beforehand may help, but spaced enough so you're not weighed down by food. Your high carb/high protein/low fat refeed meal is best saved for post-workout, and this should be the big one where you're focusing on gaining muscle. Sometimes I perform better completely fasted. You may want to experiment with not eating if your games are in the morning or early afternoon. If they're late in the day, my n=1 experiment shows me my strength starts to decrease after ~12 hours of being fasted. Waking up and working out within a few hours without eating = good for me, but going all day...not so much.
Since your workouts are cardio-centric, they may not fit the typical weight lifter paradigm. 80 minutes of rugby isn't going to drive the growth hormones of 60 minutes of powerlifting including sets to failure, so you're going to have to experiment with your macros and food quantities. In otherwords, the typical Leangains meal of 3 lbs of potatoes and 1.5 lbs of 96% ground beef may not be what you're looking for. YMMV. You may want lower GI carbs, you may need more dietary fat, or maybe the constant movement will burn so much glycogen you'll need way more carbs with as high a GI as possible. I just don't know. I've never been in your situation.
Last edited by ChocoTaco369; 08-01-2012 at 11:42 AM.
Don't put your trust in anyone on this forum, including me. You are the key to your own success.