Dietary analysis of rugby union players comparing backs and forwards
Anderson, Joshua Robert
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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The aim of this study was to investigate the difference in nutritional intakes of amateur rugby union players in relation to their position and their potential effects of their health and performance. The study sample size was 22 males, 12 forward players and 10 back players, aged 18 and above from a division 3 team in Wales. The study consisted of a three day estimated food intake and questions relation to Body Mass Index. The information provided by the participants was entered into tinuviel computer software known as NetWlSP providing mean dietary analysis of the macronutrients for the 12 forwards and 10 backs players. The results showed the forwards mean nutrient contributions to the total energy was 3252kcals where carbohydrates provided 37.8%, total fat (34.9%), protein (17.8%) and alcohol (3.8%). The backs mean total energy intake was 2827kcals provided by carbohydrates (38.6%), total fat (35.2%), protein (19.2%) and alcohol (5%). The dietary intakes of the forwards were higher than the back players with the exception of alcohol. However the dietary intake of both sets of rugby players does not meet the recommendations for carbohydrates, which results in mean total energy intakes below their recommendations. The total fat intakes exceed the recommendations slightly and protein intakes were more than twice the recommended nutrient requirements. This can be detrimental to normal physiological functions and therefore health. Despite the high levels of protein intake, protein supplementation was prevalent throughout the squad, with 54% of the players consuming them. Therefore nutrient intakes by the forwards and backs was marginal, however changes need to be made in particular with regard to increasing carbohydrate intakes in order to enhance performance and prevent future illness.
BSc (Hons) Sports Biomedicine and Nutrition
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