The IRFU and National Dairy Council hosted a Nutrition Seminar at the Aviva Stadium recently. The seminar was aimed at Foundation Level coaches who are dealing with young developing players.
An interactive workshop providing coaches of young rugby players with up to date sports nutritional information took place at the Aviva Stadium last week.
Organised jointly by the IRFU and The National Dairy Council as part of the Milk It For All It’s Worth campaign, it set out to up-skill coaches working with players ranging from 12-16 years of age, providing practical nutritional advice to help to players to play to their best ability.
The workshop was led by the IRFU performance nutritionist Ruth Wood-Martin and Emma McCrudden, performance nutritionist with Leinster Rugby.
The performance nutritionists presented current sport nutrition principles and used practical demonstrations to illustrate how young players can meet their nutritional needs.
The link between energy requirements and exercise was explained, and within this, the role of macronutrients (carbohydrate, protein and fat) in supporting training and competition were examined.
Emma explained that the core concepts of performance nutrition are relatively easy for anyone from any sport or age group to grasp.
But the true professional athlete understands why nutrition can optimise performance and allows them control over this aspect of performance.
Ruth explained that food is the fuel used to support the extra energy demand of exercise. The main fuels used during exercise are fat and carbohydrate, and both of these fuels are stored in the muscles that allow them to work during exercise.
Without sufficient amounts of the right type of fuel, every player’s ability to perform in sport will suffer.
The importance of the timing of food and fluid intake to best prepare for exercise and recover after it were described, and practical examples were used to illustrate how to get this right in training and competition.
The workshop included hands-on scenarios aimed at translating the theory into practice.
Participants at the workshop were encouraged to direct their young players to the Eat 2 Compete series of fact sheets, available to download at www.irishrugby.ie/eat2compete.
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