Permanent link to Research Commons versionhttps://hdl.handle.net/10289/15517
Dietary intake is an important consideration for rugby union ('rugby') players to ensure substrate provision for optimal performance and facilitate recovery. Within-day meal distribution is especially important for athletes, particularly those with congested schedules and multiple daily training sessions. In the present study, 10 provincial academy rugby players engaged in a holistic support protocol informed by behaviour-change techniques led by a full-time sports nutritionist. Dietary intake was estimated during a 4-week monitoring and 4-week intervention period using the remote food photography method on one high-volume training day (two training sessions) and two low-volume training days (≤1 training session) per week. Lean body mass did not change significantly in response to the intervention. Significant increases were observed for protein on both low-volume (breakfast, AM snack, evening snack) and high-volume (post-gym, AM snack, evening snack) training days. Carbohydrate intake post-intervention was significantly greater at the pre-gym eating occasion but lower at PM snack and dinner eating occasions on high-volume days. These data suggest that incorporating a holistic support protocol led by a sports nutritionist can influence within-day nutrient intake in rugby players; however, no change to lean body mass was observed, and the influence of these changes in nutrient intake on performance and recovery warrants further investigation.
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