Professional rugby players – like any other professional athletes – need to ensure their sports nutrition is on point to help them achieve their true sporting potential. But how exactly do they do this day-to-day?

We’ve caught up with Professional Rugby Player and Nutrition X Ambassador, Charlie Willett, to gain an insight into a typical day of fuel for her during a training week.

What does a rugby player eat for breakfast?

When I’ve got a big day of training ahead of me, getting my nutrition right from the off is vital; starting my day in the right way and ensuring I have both the energy and protein my body needs to tackle things head on.

First thing, I start the day with a refreshing lemon water and Creatine Monohydrate, setting my body up with the energy it needs to hit the intense bouts of exercise that I know await me later in training. After that, I grab my morning coffee and head off on a walk, getting my muscles moving whilst also getting that hit of help of mental alertness I’ll need to hit the ground running from the caffeine in my coffee.

Next up, it’s a protein-packed breakfast with a nice balance of carbs to help with energy levels. At the moment, I’m obsessed with anything egg-based, so I’ll have something like  a four-egg scramble with cheese for a little extra fats; along with toast for some nice slow-release carbohydrates, a high-protein yoghurt and some fruit.

Do rugby players have protein shakes?

Yes, absolutely! After breakfast and before heading to training, I’ll have a Nutrition X Clear Whey Protein shake to top up my protein levels for the day; ensuring my muscles have the adequate protein they need to recover from yesterday’s training, and to prepare them well for the stress of that day’s session or game.

What do rugby players eat for lunch?

Before afternoon training, I’ll have an early lunch of something that packs a punch in the taste stakes whilst also helping me hit my macro targets. At the moment, I love salmon fillets with a tasty salad; upping my protein levels as well as giving me some handy Omega 3, plus giving me some great nutrients from the veg in my salad.

What snacks do rugby players eat?

Pre-training, I’ll have a carb-rich snack to help give my muscles the energy they’ll need, so will opt for something like peanut butter toast with raspberries for added nutrients/ carbs. I’ll also have another coffee as a mental boost – I know I’ll need to be at the top of my game for training, and some added caffeine will help give me that edge in case any afternoon tiredness creeps in. If I don’t have a coffee to hand, a pre-workout shot like Xplode is my go-to!

Between sessions, I’ll also have an apple – again focussing on nutritious carbohydrates for energy here – and a Nutrition X Collagen Repair Shot; supporting my joints and ligaments with recovery, and helping to prevent potential injury.

Is hydration important for rugby?

Yes, absolutely – hydration is vital for me on both training and game days, where sweat is inevitable. To help ensure I’m adequately hydrated, I’ll have a Nutrition X Hydra+ drink before training and during / after if it’s particularly intense, or a hot day. Cramps and dehydration are no joke, and the added electrolytes in these help to keep both at bay.

What do rugby players eat for dinner?

Dinner for me is a chance to refuel after an intense day of training, making sure I replenish the energy expended during a hard-hitting session, whilst also giving my muscles the protein they need to adequately recover. Something like steak, along with chicken for extra protein, always hits the spot; served up with sweet potato and vegetables for healthy nutrients and carbohydrates. That way, I know I’m going to bed properly fuelled

To find out more about the supplements in Charlie’s day nutrition regime, head on over to our sports supplements page.