Energy restriction during rugby season
Reduce your alcohol intake as it is high in energy contributing 7 kcal per gram. Alcohol can also have a negative impact on sleep which may have knock-on effect on your ability to gain muscle mass and recover. Try to cook 90% of your meals at home. Save 10% of meals for socialising ideally on days when you have expended high amounts of energy to reduce impact on the mild-energy deficit.
Focus on low-carb evening meals except on game day -1 and post-match. Allow for high protein intake and high intake of vegetables to increase intake of vitamins and minerals.
Sample Low Carb Dinner
Sample Game Day -1 Dinner
Lean beef mince chilli
Large green salad
Lean beef chilli
2 sweet potatoes
Chicken supreme in mushroom garlic sauce
Chicken Supreme in mushroom garlic sauce Spinach
It is possible to achieve body composition improvements during the in season period. Just keep in mind that if losing body fat is your goal then you need to eat in a mild energy deficit.
Relate you carbohydrate portions to your training intensity and priorities them around your training sessions and do not over fuel on fats. Make sure you are not restricting intakes on days you need the energy. Remember to play sports like rugby carbs are king.
Look after your immunity by increasing total veg on plates (good for bulking out lower carb meals without going crazy on high kcal fats or double/triple protein portions). Try and include a protein containing fruit smoothie after matches or intense training sessions and pre-bed.
Keep resistance training and protein intake high and equally spaced throughout the day to support muscle mass and encourage gains.