For rugby players, the pre-season is the time when you want to train your body to reach its peak fitness and your nutrition will be essential to this process. The foods you put into your body will help prepare you for your first league match once the season begins. So, keep up with the great work your made during the season and make sure you include these foods into your daily nutrition during the pre-season.
The Broccoli Family
According to nutritionist Matt Lovell, “broccoli supplies important detoxifying chemicals.” Some of the other vegetables he mentions that you can eat include brussel sprouts, cauliflower, kale, bok choy, and cabbage. These vegetables will aid in your recovery, liver function, and increase antioxidant protection while also helping you maintain your hormonal balance.
Eggs are very high in quality protein, B vitamins, zinc, and healthy fats. They also help you sustain lean body mass and rebuild muscle and can be beneficial in boosting your immune system and hormonal balance. According to Lovell, “it’s a myth that too many eggs cause high cholesterol, and you can eat three or four a day if you’re training. There’s a much greater link between excess sugar and insulin to high cholesterol.”
Wild salmon is a great food choice to include in your daily nutrition as it is higher in essential fats and protein while being lower in total and omega 6 fats than other salmon. Eating too many grains can also cause you to gain too much total and omega 6 fats, and in excess, they are pro-inflammatory for your joints and muscles. Frozen wild salmon are readily available at your local supermarket at a fair price as well.
Beans and Pulses
Consuming kidney beans, chickpeas, peas, and lentils are great because they are high in fiber and protein. They are also rich in folate and other B vitamins as well as minerals like magnesium which is great to help your muscles relax and recover. Lovell says, “fiber is essential for optimum digestion and colon health. This food group, also known as slow carbs, are two-thirds carbs and one-third protein, and release energy slowly – a good lunch option.”
Coconut Oil and Olive Oil
Coconut oil is great for your immune function and digestion while also killing any bad bacteria. It can burn quickly, like a carb and is a heat stable, which means when you heat it up to a high temperature, it does not denature. Olive oil is a great choice because it is full of flavonoids and is anti-aging. A great tip is to use coconut oil for frying and then drizzle olive oil over any salads or cooked foods.