Importance of Nutritional Knowledge on Athletic Performance during Rugby Union
Lauren Egle-MarshallSport Coaching Pedagogy
Rugby Union: Physiologicalrequirements High intensity bouts of multidirectional running and tackling with short bouts of recovery [1,2,3] Physical demands critical in developing effective, efficient athletes 
Duthie, 2006:Improved Aerobic Capacity and Endurance: < 4 seconds, no more than 15 seconds. High intensity bouts overlap resulting in dense work periods. Developed pathway enhances recovery period.Speed and Acceleration: Acceleration crucial aspect. Multidirectional, accelerated changes whilst in motion.
Strength and Power: Absolute and relative Improvement of running velocity, multidirectional change & driving force in scrums Forwards – 75% workload of overall performance Backs – 25% workload of overall performance
Body Composition: Newton’s Second Law of Motion: Acceleration= Force/Mass Excess body fat negatively impact performance through increasing energy demands Reduced economy and efficiency of movement
Nutrition and Performance Nutrition: a vital component of life, especially when physical exertion is involved . Heaney et al., 2011: nutritional knowledge inadequate in both athlete and coach.
Nutrition and Performance Walsh & associates (2011): Assessed body composition and nutritional knowledge Disparity between knowledge and practice Cotugna et al., 2005: Number of athletes do not demonstrate sufficient knowledge of nutrition despite interest Knowledge largely influential by coach
Nutrition and Performance Lako & colleagues (2010) Fatigue consequentially affects performance Several nutritional compounds identified that contribute to fatigue
Further Education Developing educational programs & incorporate within training regime Knowledge about nutrition does not always change athlete behaviour
References1. Gabbett, T. (2000). Physiological and anthropometric characteristics of amateur rugby league players. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 34. 303-307.2. Gabbett, T. (2006). Performance changes following a field conditioning program in junior and senior rugby league players. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 20(1). 215-221.3. Higham, D., Pyne, D., Anson, J. & Eddy, A. (2013). Physiological, anthropometric, and performance characteristics of rugby sevens players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 8. 19-274. Duthie, G. (2006). A framework for the physical development of elite rugby union players. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 1. 2-13.5. Nazni, P. & Vimala, S. (2010). Nutrition knowledge, attitude and practice of college sportsmen. Asian Journal of Sports Medicine, 1(2). 93-100.
References6. Heaney, S., o”Connor, H., Michael, S., Gifford, J. & Noughton, G. (2011). Nutrition knowledge in athletes: A systematic review. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 21. 248-261.7. Walsh, M., Cartwright, L., Corish, C., Sugrue, S., & Wood-Martin, R. (2011). The body composition, nutritional knowledge, attitudes, behaviours, and future educational needs of senior schoolboy rugby players in Ireland. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 21. 365-376.8. Cotugna, N., Vickery, C. & McBee, S. (2005). Sports nutrition for young adults. The Journal of School Nursing, 21(6). 323-3289. Lako, J., Sotheeswaran, S., & Christie, K. (2010). Food habits and nutritional status of Fiji rugby players. Would Acadamy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 44. 752-757