Nutritional Practices, Interventions and Recommendations for Junior Rugby League Players
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, Al Attar Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic, Doha, Qatar
- *Corresponding Author:
- Jamie Carruthers
Department of Nutrition and Dietetics
Al Attar Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation Clinic Doha, Qatar
E-mail: [email protected]
Received Date: June 20, 2016; Accepted Date: June 24, 2016; Published Date: July 01, 2016
Citation: Carruthers J (2016) Nutritional Practices, Interventions and Recommendations for Junior Rugby League Players. Sports Nutr Ther 1: 110. doi: 10.4172/2473-6449.1000110
Copyright: © 2016 Carruthers J. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use,distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Rugby league is an intermittent, collision team sport played at amateur and professional levels across junior and senior age categories worldwide. A paucity of literature exists with regard to research on nutrition for junior rugby league players. This lack of research makes the development of specific nutritional recommendations for players problematic. There is a concern that players may adopt the latest fad diet or supplement to augment their performance at a risk to their performance, training adaptation, recovery, injury susceptibility and health. Youth culture, social media, socio-economic status, behavioural and educational issues may contribute to the poor dietary practices of players. To maintain health, optimise growth and enhance athletic performance and recovery, junior rugby league players need to consume an appropriate diet. Junior rugby league players should periodise their nutritional intake according to the training and competition phase. 1.5-1.7 g.kg-1 day-1 of protein is recommended with equally spaced meals throughout the day to maximise protein synthesis. During phases where skeletal muscle tissue is prioritised this recommendation should be towards the higher end, 1.7 g.kg-1 day-1. Carbohydrate ingestion between 4-8 g.kg-1 day-1 should be adjusted daily according to the daily exercise needs of the player. A food first policy should be adopted basing food intake on primarily whole and minimally processed sources from a variety of foods will help players meet their micronutrient intake. Implementation of a nutrition education programme should be undertaken with players improve the nutritional knowledge and dietary practice. This paper reviews the current scientific data related to the energy needs of junior rugby league players, special nutrient needs during training and competition and the use of supplements.