Rugby is very similar to a lot of other competitive contact sports in the sense that players are constantly looking for every little bit to help their performance on the field. This includes everything from increasing their raw strength to the elongating their endurance when playing. So naturally a lot of players will turn to sports supplements to help give themselves a competitive edge when playing rugby, and there are supplements out there that can do just that. So with that in mind, let’s take a quick look at some of the best rugby supplements that are offered on the market today.
Rugby is one of, if not the most physically demanding sports played today. Few sports stress the importance of power and momentum as much as rugby does, while still needing huge amounts of endurance to continue giving your 100% on the playing field at all times. And since rugby is probably the heaviest-hitting contact sport around, you are going to want to carry as much momentum with you when you run, which is why putting on mass will always be a good thing to do. Here, a simple protein powder will make it easier for you to get in your protein intake for the day, since a lot of people have a hard time consuming the amount of protein that is necessary for weight gain on their own. It’s important to keep in mind that a protein powder alone will not turn you into a big guy with bulging muscles if you’re a twig, but it can play a critically important role in helping your body meet its requirements for macronutrients. There is also a step up from simple protein powders such as weight gainers. Since their launch to the market, many weight gainers have given bad reputation to their category by simply filling their products up with simple sugars, low quality protein and horrendous taste and mixability. Luckily over recent years high quality weight gainers have been released such as Kinetica OatGain (highly recommended) and Reflex OneStopXtreme. Both of these products offer low GI carbohydrates which will give you a sustained release of energy and not spike your insulin to extreme levels like the poor quality weight gainers which will in turn, increase fat storage in the body. They both offer good quality whey protein with added beneficial ingredients like creatine, glutamine, BCAAs and more. The added 500 calories or so you would obtain from these products could be the difference between gaining or not gaining muscle.
Right, so if the protein powders are one of the best rugby supplements around for putting on muscle and maintaining mass, then what can help with increasing endurance, both on and off the field? This is a little bit trickier to answer, as there are a lot more than just one way to help promote endurance when playing rugby, as well as when you are off the field, say, training in the weight room for it. Here, some people may say that a good example of rugby supplements to use for endurance would be a typical pre-workout drink that some take before lifting weights. There are both pros and cons that should be taken into consideration before using a pre workout drink as something to take as rugby supplements. For instance, although pre workout drink mixes are typically less expensive than an energy drink like Red Bull, it is still fairly expensive to buy if you plan on taking it almost every day. Furthermore, a lot of pre-workout drinks emphasize giving you a short “burst” of energy, rather than giving you a smoother, more continuous flow of energy, which would be more beneficial for a rugby match.
However, if you look closely at your local supplement shop, you will see a lot of the ingredients that are sold in your pre-workout drinks, as separate ingredients. The reason for this being the fact that some people prefer to make their own pre-workout drink rather than buying one that is already made. However, you can take advantage of this by taking only the rugby supplements that will help you increase your endurance when playing rugby. A good example of this would be l-Arginine. Looking at the back of any of the popular pre-workout drinks and you are almost certain to come across l-arginine, and for a very good reason. When l-arginine enters the bloodstream, it helps increase the size of your veins (much like nitrous oxide, more on it later), which, in turn, helps deliver more oxygen to your muscles. Making sure your muscles have an ample supply of oxygen is one of the most important things to do to help fight back muscle fatigue, which may very well be your biggest enemy on the rugby field.
Of course, reading the back of a pre-workout drink, you will quickly learn that there is a lot more to them than just l-arginine. Rugby supplements can be other things found in pre-workout drinks too, like caffeine. Fortunately caffeine comes in pill form too, and when compared to getting your caffeine through energy drinks, it can be unbelievably cheap. The cost of a bottle of caffeine will vary depending on who you buy it from, but most of the time the price will be so low, the cost of each individual 100mg caffeine tablet will be in the pence.
Another one of the more helpful rugby supplements would be nitrous oxide. Unlike caffeine or any other type of stimulant, it strictly helps with endurance when playing sports. Nitrous oxide is like l-arginine because it helps widen your veins and delivers more blood to your muscles when it needs it most. The effects of a good nitrous oxide product can actually be seen if you have particularly noticeable veins (usually on your forearms). Around 30 minutes after the dose of nitrous oxide is administered (orally, since it is easiest to take in pill form), some people may notice their veins protruding more than usual. If this is the case, there is nothing to be alarmed about, as it is nothing more than a sign that the supplement is working and doing a good job.
The next 2 ingredients are probably the most effective supplements to take prior to a rugby match. Creatine and Beta Alanine. Both of these deserve separate articles on their effectiveness which has been backed by studies, so check them both out.
All in all, if you are looking to get your hand on some rugby supplements, you are going to have a lot of choice on your hands. But it is the variety that will help you in the end, as each of the different supplements will come with its own set of benefits; perfect for the different players on the field looking for different things out of their supplement.