Nutrition tips for young rugby players and their parents

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If you do decide to use supplements, then it is your responsibility to ensure that any supplement you take has no banned substances in its ingredients and ideally has been batch-tested to ensure no contamination. Under the WADA code, Athletes are ultimately responsible for the contents of any supplements they take. This is important to remember – especially if a trainer, coach, gym instructor etc is trying to push you to take supplements – remember you could be banned regardless of who gives you the supplement.

The website informed choice http://informed-choice.org/ provides information on supplements that have been tested for banned substances. Remember just because a supplement has no banned substances it doesn’t mean it is good for you.

How does it help you?

  • background on food safety
  • advice on supplement usage
  • tips for young players and their parents

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“In my view students do not need to use supplements – without professional advice from the experts you are putting yourself at risk. Work hard get good nutritional advice and eat well – that will be more beneficial to you than any supplement” DJ Forbes - All Blacks 7’s

A small proportion of supplements have been shown to improve health or athlete performance. However, the benefits to health and performance claimed by the majority of supplements are either highly exaggerated or completely unproven. Until the foundation of sound training, nutrition and recovery are mastered, the benefits of many supplements can be irrelevant and insignificant.

New Zealand Rugby and New Zealand Rugby Players Association supports a ‘food first’ approach to nutrition. This means that players should ensure they consume a varied, nutrient rich and complete diet based largely around whole natural foods filled with carbohydrates, protein, quality fats and micronutrients. There are some good food suggestions and smoothie recipes at the end of this document that will provide a much safer, healthier and cheaper alternative to supplements.