Meal Plan for Rugby Player – Teenager

Many young lads are keen to get into rugby more seriously, and it's during these teenage years, where they can set a foundation for playing more seriously when they're older.

Young rugby players are often looking to build themselves up and put on lean muscle weight and bulk. At the same time, they need to have energy to train hard and stay fit. For optimum performance in rugby training you will need a lot of energy for long lengths of time, so it's essential that you have a well structured nutrition programme not only to provide energy for a training session, but also to provide fuel for recuperation for the next day's exercise. Both energy and protein should be high with the aim to keep body fat at an acceptable level in order to optimise power to weight ratio.

Teenage rugby players will generally have rugby training or a match twice per week, and should aim to weight train, with intensity, three times per week following a split routine. In addition, running or cycling to improve cardiovascular fitness is encouraged.

The meal plan below is an example for a teenage rugby player to follow for a typical training day:

Large bowl of porridge made with 100g oats + 250ml skimmed milk + water with a tsp of sugar and raisins if desired
or 100g Shreddies / 3 Weetabix / 3 Shredded Wheat + 250ml skimmed milk + tsp sugar
and 2 slices granary bread (toasted) with natural peanut butter
250ml fresh fruit juice
2-3 pieces easy flapjack
Item of fruit
2 sandwiches made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken/turkey/cheese
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Sticks raw carrot/cucumber/celery
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
4-5 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Item of fruit
45 minutes pre-training*
During training
Sip water or isotonic drink throughout
Immediately post training
25g whey protein powder + 25g dextrose in water
Evening meal
(45 mins later)
Lean fillet steak or chicken breast or fish
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
100g Shreddies / 3 Weetabix / 3 Shredded Wheat + 250ml skimmed milk + tsp sugar
Item fruit
Small handful mixed nuts & seeds

* This includes team rugby training and gym sessions

The above plan provides sufficient levels of all nutrients and sustained slow released low glycaemic carbohydrates to help provide energy for training and growth. However, the plan is merely a general guide, and portion sizes will need to be adapted to suit your daily routine. You must eat a variety of different meats/fish, complex carbohydrates, fruit and vegetables every day, and drink plenty of water.

See also meal plan for a training day & meal plan for a match day

Plans for people with illness or medical conditions in no way should override advice provided specifically for you by your doctor, clinical dietitian or other clinician. We advise that you seek the advice of a suitably qualified physician before commencing any exercise regime, following any dietary or nutritional regimen or beginning the use of any dietary supplements, legal or otherwise. The information provided on the Website is intended as information only and does not constitute advice. Therefore, it must not be relied on to assist in making or refraining from making a decision, or to assist in deciding on a course of action.