The Influence of Full-Time Holistic Support Delivered by a Sports Nutritionist on Within-Day Macronutrient Distribution in New Zealand Provincial Academy Rugby Union Players

Charlie Roberts, Nicholas Gill, Christopher Martyn Beaven , Logan Posthumus , Stacy Sims

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

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.
Original languageEnglish
Article number17
JournalNutrients
Volume15
Issue number1
Early online date21 Dec 2022
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 21 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • rugby
  • meal timing
  • protein distribution
  • carbohydrate periodisation
  • sports nutritionist
  • behaviour change
  • nutrition support

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