The FindRugbyNow site is going from strength to strength! The website provides a fantastic platform for all aspects of the rugby community, and with that in mind, I am pleased to introduce both myself and the NEW Rugby Nutrition Blog.
I’ll start by giving a very brief bit of info about myself, I am a registered nutritionist within the UK and am a member of the newly formed Sport & Exercise Nutrition Register (SENr) – I have been incredibly honoured to work for several top-flight rugby union clubs in the last few years, including Newcastle Falcons Rugby Club and Saracens Rugby Football Club, and in that time I was lucky to work alongside the RFU & England Nutritionist. Currently I work for West Ham United Football Club as their Academy Nutritionist, as well as running my own public health nutrition company, Total Nutrition Ltd.
My nutrition philosophies are very much a ‘Food First’ approach. Although I accept that supplements have their place within performance nutrition, I believe a good nutritionist will always look to fix it with food before dishing out a pill/shake/powder! The advice given throughout these blogs will ALWAYS be based on scientific research and will aim to answer your questions by highlighting key nutritional principals for aiding rugby-specific training, performance and recovery goals, and so providing the FindRugbyNow community with an insight into how these attributes can be achieved. You do not need expensive supplements to replicate the results; instead, I will be showing you how my ‘Food First’ approach can be highly effective in both practice and cost! You also certainly don’t need to be Gordon Ramsay in the kitchen (although I must confess to swearing like him if I burn myself on a pan!) the foods/meals we will look at and create are relatively simple and easy to prepare.
As I have mentioned, I have been privileged to work in professional rugby for a couple of years, and have been fortunate enough to see first-hand, and be part of, the growing multi-disciplinary support that professional players now receive. Now, the reality is that unless you are involved in the professional environment, the likelihood of you having access to top-class Sports & Performance Nutritionists and other multi-disciplinary support such as S&C coaches & Physiotherapists etc. is pretty slim, and as such, you are often left to your own devices to figure out a diet that might work.
For me, correct nutritional education is something that EVERYBODY should have access to – whether you are a youngster starting out or a seasoned veteran, and so I hope these blogs are able to spark an interest in your diet – not just for rugby, but long-term health as well.
Every player wants to the ability to be bigger/faster/stronger, or be able to smash that Back Row in the tackle after they flattened you last season – and hopefully my blogs will give you the nutritional foundations to achieve these goals.
While I am able to offer advice, please be aware that every player differs in terms of their individual nutritional needs – what works for one, might not work for another! In addition to providing an insight into nutritional methods, support and strategies that are relevant to rugby, I hope that my future blogs are able to offer you the opportunity to ‘fine tune’ your nutrition to give you the cutting edge.
Not only do I want to pass on rugby-related performance nutrition through these blogs, but I am also keen to cover nutrition topics that YOU want answered! So please feel free to comment, ask questions and most importantly, share your ideas with each other! My overall goal is to create a platform for you to discuss and network our ideas and help provide a solid foundation of nutritional knowledge & education for athletes at all levels in the game.
I would just like to finish my introduction by saying it is a privilege to be asked to write for FindRugbyNow and I look forward to writing for you all in the future.
By: Chris Curtis