As a rugby player, think about how much milk you drink through the day and subsequently over the week.
Do you increase or decrease this in line with your training week or when you play? According to performance nutritionist James Morehen, milk is a brilliant drink to consume daily to help with individual player goals and is one of the most nutritionally complete foods on the market today.
“Milk has many benefits for us as rugby players. It is full of vitamins and minerals we need, not only to be healthy but to support our body during heavy training blocks or games,” says Morehen, from Liverpool John Moores University.
All the fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E and K, are found in milk in addition to the B complex vitamins and vitamin C. Key minerals calcium, magnesium and zinc are included among others fundamental for healthy bone growth – particularly in a high-impact collision sport like rugby, we want to look after our bones!
Milk is full of protein, which is great if you are looking to increase your total amount over the course of the day, and carbs to replenish your energy following a training session. Morehen advocates having a glass of milk pre-bed due to the composite profile of milk being 80% casein and 20% whey protein, which means it helps support, recover and grow our lean tissue mass whilst we sleep. To add even more protein pre-bed, try Morehen’s late-night smoothie recipe (below) to provide a boost of muscle-building macronutrients and micronutrients before you sleep. DO – Always consume protein pre-bed on heavy training days and after playing a game to help the body recover. REMEMBER – The colour on top of the milk bottle tells you the level of fat it has in it. Red = low fat, Green = medium fat, Blue = full fat.
Protein smoothie – (serves one)
What you’ll need:
200ml of milk, 1 tablespoon of peanut butter, 1 tablespoon of flaxseeds, 1 scoop of protein powder, 2 tablespoons of 0% fat Greek yoghurt, Optionally you can add a third of an avocado.
1 This is a one-step wonder – put all the ingredients in a blender, whizz and serve!