Supplements for Rugby players

Supplements for Rugby players

Rugby is a sport with a lot of culture and tradition in the old continent, gaining popularity overseas as well. Have you ever played it? Do you want to improve your performance on the filed? Then, check out this post about dietary supplements and rugby.


The ball is one of the most recognizable features of rugby.

Nutrient requirements of a player

Do you think that a rugby player, also known as rugbier, has the same needs as a player from another sport? Let’s try to clarify what are their nutrient requirements.

Rugby is a contact sport, but the players are also carrying out an anaerobic activity, trying to dispute long races to get points for their respective teams. That is why a rugbier will not gain that bulky aspect just by going to the gym.

What is the key aspect so that a player will obtain the necessary physique to reach the best performance? A good diet.

A professional rugby athlete can eat up to 5000 calories a day, usually distributed in different meals (up to six). In addition, they also take dietary supplements  that will meet the requirements of a rugby player which are quite demanding.

Playing rugby

Do you know all the rules of the game? It is a traditional sport from Europe that has become really popular worldwide.

Rugby Diet

In an interview published in the Argentinian magazine Infobae, Romina Garavaglia, nutritionist of the Argentinian Rugby national team, explained the diet she offers to professional players. On average, they eat around 3500 calories a day, which can increase depending on the competition or season.

In fact, they will repeat some of the meals of the day like lunch and dinner.

Breakfast and Afternoon Snack

Fruit and granola yogurt bowl + two toasts of whole bread + scrambled eggs + infusion.


Fresh fruit + protein bar / 30g  of Whey Protein with water.

Lunch and Dinner

Salad + Protein (meat or egg) + grains (rice, legumes or potato) + cooked vegetables + fruit.

Another afternoon snack

Chicken/tuna sandwich + vegetables.

What do you think? Would you be able to follow a diet like this?

In general, we can see that the diet by Garavaglia is specially rich in carbohydrates and protein. This is only to make sure that the rubgiers have enough energy.


Gym work, nutrition and supplementation for an athlete who wants to play rugby.

What should you eat before a Rugby match?

Nutritionists and physical trainers from the world of rugby recommend taking the following products and supplements before a match.

Around three hours before the maximal effort of the match, the player can take a blend of carbs + animal protein (up to 100g of the former and 40g of the latter). Moreover, they can also drink a shake with Whey Protein + BCAA’s in order to decrease the fatigue and buffer muscle damage.

Female team

Is rugby the sport that encourages comradeship and its own values the most? 

Why do Rugby players take supplements?

It is a sport full of hits and potential injuries which are not only physical. In fact, it is one of the sports that demands most supplementation in order to have plenty of carbs, protein and fat available.

Then, why would a rugby player take sports supplements?

First of all, it is important to protect the cells from the physical strain from the high intensity matches and workouts. This will surely produce free radicals and inflammation in your body.

Second, creatine will be key like in any other explosive sport, with successive bursts of short term high intensity exercise. While the recovery of the muscle fibers and muscle gains is more than important.

Recommended supplements for a player

Rugby field

We have seen how the nutrient requirements of a rugby player are higher than other athletes.

That is why they used products that will support their sports performance.

Here you have a list of some supplements you could include in your diet if you play rugby:

Fatty Acids and Omega-3

The physical wear of this sport is high. It is not only a physical effort that involves sprinting, it also has hit and a high level of contact, more so than any other sport.

That is why it is essential to decrease the fatigue and deal with muscle inflammation and free radicals. Therefore, taking fatty acids and specially omega-3 is necessary.

You can also purchase Omega-3 suitable for those who follow a vegan diet:

This is one of the supplements that will also help you prevent injuries by regenerating the muscle fibers. All in all, this product will boost your defenses.


The protein requirements are extremely high among rugbiers.

By that we mean that they can take up to 1.5 – 2g per kilo of weight a day. These requirements would be hard to achieve just through the diet, which is why protein supplement will be a must.

Whey protein is probably the most recommended, and you will find a wide range of products in  HSN. Then, you just have to choose the type depending of its processing: concentrate, isolate or hydrolyzed.

Actually, you can choose between animal or plant-based protein.

You can also get protein bars for a snack between meals. They are very practical since you can take them anywhere with you and eat them before or after the workout.


This product provides optimal levels of vitamins and minerals, which you probably will not be able to meet through an ordinary diet. In general, rugby players take a multivitamin to avoid or buffer physical wear.

Moreover, HSN has developed a multivitamin that has been specially depending on your sex, male or female. It will meet the necessary vitamin and mineral requirements of athletes.

Recovery products

Protein definitely helps to regenerate the muscle fibers after the workout. Recovery products (carbohydrates + pre-digested protein) will ensure a complete recharge of muscle glycogen, apart from a complete recovery for the next match or workout.

The best option you can find in the market is Evorecovery by SportSeries. It is made up of new generation carbohydrates and Lacprodan® Hydro.90 INS protein.


Last but not least, it is actually a very common supplement in rugby.

Nowadays, creatine is the most used food supplement by rugbiers. In fact, it is possibly the supplement with the highest number of studies that back up its effects on the sport performance.

What are the benefits of taking creatine according to the specialists?

  • Energy for physical exercise.
  • More resistance to sport, as well as a better recovery.
  • More speed in sprint, short distances.
  • Gains of muscle mass.
If you want to learn more about the positive effects of creatine in the world of sports, click here.


  1. Madden RF, Shearer J, Legg D, Parnell JA. Evaluation of Dietary Supplement Use in Wheelchair Rugby Athletes. Nutrients. 2018 Dec 11;10(12). pii: E1958. doi: 10.3390/nu10121958.
  2. McIntosh ND, Love TD, Haszard JJ, Osborne HR, Black KE. Response to Effects of Reactiv “Maximum Beta-Hydroxy Beta-Methylbutyrate” on Body Mass and Performance in Elite Male Rugby Players. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Dec;32(12):e59. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000002921.
  3. Black KE, Witard OC, Baker D, Healey P, Lewis V, Tavares F, Christensen S, Pease T, Smith B. Adding omega-3 fatty acids to a protein-based supplement during pre-season training results in reduced muscle soreness and the better maintenance of explosive power in professional Rugby Union players. Eur J Sport Sci. 2018 Nov;18(10):1357-1367. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2018.1491626. Epub 2018 Jul 9.
  4. Rhodes KM, Baker DF, Smith BT, Braakhuis AJ. Acute Effect of Oral N-Acetylcysteine on Muscle Soreness and Exercise Performance in Semi-Elite Rugby Players. J Diet Suppl. 2019;16(4):443-453. doi: 10.1080/19390211.2018.1470129. Epub 2018 Jun 29.
  5. Fairbairn KA, Ceelen IJM, Skeaff CM, Cameron CM, Perry TL. Vitamin D3 Supplementation Does Not Improve Sprint Performance in Professional Rugby Players: A Randomized, Placebo-Controlled, Double-Blind Intervention Study. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2018 Jan 1;28(1):1-9. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2017-0157. Epub 2018 Jan 17.
  6. McIntosh ND, Love TD, Haszard JJ, Osborne HR, Black KE. β-Hydroxy β-Methylbutyrate (HMB) Supplementation Effects on Body Mass and Performance in Elite Male Rugby Union Players. J Strength Cond Res. 2018 Jan;32(1):19-26. doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001695.
  7. MacKenzie-Shalders KL, King NA, Byrne NM, Slater GJ. Increasing Protein Distribution Has No Effect on Changes in Lean Mass During a Rugby Preseason. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2016 Feb;26(1):1-7. doi: 10.1123/ijsnem.2015-0040. Epub 2015 Jul 1.

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Supplements for Rugby Review

Diet of a player - 100%

Meal before a match - 100%

Omega-3 supplement - 100%

Creatine, the star supplement - 100%


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About José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia
José Miguel Olivencia is a professional in communication and sport who relates his training and experience in every post he writes.
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