Dietary Intakes of Elite Male Professional Rugby Union Players in Catered and Non-Catered Environments


December 2022

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In professional rugby union, it is common for players to switch between catered and non-catered dietary environments throughout a season. However, little is known about the difference in dietary intake between these two settings. Twelve elite male professional rugby union players (28.3 ± 2.9 y, 188.9 ± 9.5 cm, 104.1 ± 13.3 kg) from the New Zealand Super Rugby Championship completed seven-day photographic food diaries with two-way communication during two seven-day competition weeks in both catered and non-catered environments. While no significant differences were observed in relative carbohydrate intake, mean seven-day absolute energy intakes (5210 ± 674 vs. 4341 ± 654 kcal·day-1), relative protein (2.8 ± 0.3 vs. 2.3 ± 0.3 g·kgBM·day-1) and relative fat (2.1 ± 0.3 vs. 1.5 ± 0.3 g·kgBM·day-1) intakes were significantly higher in the catered compared to the non-catered environment (respectively) among forwards (n = 6). Backs (n = 6) presented non-significantly higher energy and macronutrient intakes within a catered compared to a non-catered environment. More similar dietary intakes were observed among backs regardless of the catering environment. Forwards may require more support and/or attention when transitioning between catered and non-catered environments to ensure that recommended dietary intakes are being achieved. Int J Environ Res Public Health (2022) 19(23):16242

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