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Performance Nutritionist at Sligo Rugby Club

Rugby season has begun and this year Proactive Nutrition has been working alongside Sligo rugby club as their performance nutritionist.This is the first year the team has taken this dual approach of fitness paired with nutrition and I have been delighted to be involved and work alongside the coaches.

Initially I met with the coaches and we discussed the season ahead and some challenges that had been identified from the previous year. As the team’s performance nutritionist my primary focus was to develop individualized nutrition plans to achieve each player’s performance related goals. This began with nutrition preparation during preseason to get them to optimum fitness for the season. I met each player individually for a consultation. In this consultation they completed an in-depth health questionnaire and I took a number of measurements which included body fat percentage along with going through a one week food diary that they had kept previous to coming into me. Each of the players had different goals for their nutrition, as with any client, but each consultation was specifically geared around improving nutrition for achieving optimum fitness and energy requirement on the pitch. I then analyzed each diet plan through nutritional software and designed each player a tailor-made meal plan based around their specific requirements, their rugby training schedule and day to day activity levels.
The benefit of a tailor-made meal plan is that it is designed specifically around lifestyle factors, nutritional goals and your sport. Each player depending on their position would have very different nutritional requirements. Dietary analysis was a good tool as it gave each player a greater insight to the impact of certain food choices on their fitness level and recovery. Many players were interested to see their specific requirements for carbohydrates, proteins and fats along with whether their diet was balanced overall.

Most of the team were aware that nutrition is fundamentally important for peak performance on match day. However, many had questions on what to eat, how much to eat and when is the best time to eat for training sessions and in the lead up to games. The coaches and I had spoken about match day nutrition and how energy levels in the second half of games in previous seasons had posed a challenge, so a huge focus was put on match day nutrition. Nutrition for game day begins long before kick off so each player was given match day nutrition and hydration tips and also received a tailor-made game day nutrition outline. Although many people have different nutrition suggestions about what a rugby player should eat, the main nutrition goal is to maximize energy by making correct food choices and to ensure they are efficiently hydrated to sustain the length of the match.sligo rugby club

It is evident already that the Sligo players’s discipline to their nutrition plans and fitness is paying off on the pitch. Looking forward to a winning season ahead.

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