Meal Plan for Rugby Player – Training Day

Rugby is a popular sport played all over the World. Those who play in a team typically have their rugby training one or two evenings during the week, with a match on a weekend day (see meal plan for a match day). Many players also visit the gym two or three times per week for weight training or cardiovascular fitness work.

Rugby players aim to be fit, strong and well built, whilst maintaining agility and stamina. For optimal 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.

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

Large bowl of porridge made with 100g jumbo oats + 250ml skimmed milk + water with a tsp of sugar and raisins if desired
or 100g unsweetened muesli + 250ml skimmed milk
and/or 2 slices granary bread (toasted) with natural peanut butter
250ml fresh fruit juice
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or tuna
Item of fruit
Sandwich made with granary bread + olive oil based spread with lean ham/chicken or large mackerel fillet
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Mixed salad
Low fat, low sugar yoghurt
2-3 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
100g mixed nuts & seeds
Item of fruit
45 minutes pre-training*
2-3 oatcakes with low fat soft cheese
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 + herbs to taste
Boiled new potatoes or basmati rice or dry roasted sweet potatoes
Loads of vegetables
Low fat, no added sugar yoghurt
100g cottage cheese / quark / low fat natural yoghurt
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 long and intense training sessions. Porridge or muesli for breakfast will provide slow released energy, and oatcakes and granary bread will top up this up through the daytime. See our Glycaemic Index Tables for GI values of foods.

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.

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.