This “Rugby Supplements” guide can be applied to any physical sport you participate in with slight tweaks if needed. So, supplements for rugby…. where do you start? You walk into a store and you’re confronted with 100s of different type of supplements that have similar claims to the following :
- Get shredded in 30 days
- *Supplement name* will increase your strength by 300%, research backed!”
- Gain 10 pounds in 2 weeks with *product name*
- Get bigger faster stronger after one dose!
You see claims like this everywhere in the supplement world, marketing at its finest. I will go as far as saying marketing is the single most important factor behind a successful supplement or brand. So, you’re a rugby player (or athlete) you enter a store and come across these claims, which one to pick!? You speak to the store owner or employee with vast knowledge on supplements and then you hit another wall on the journey to acquiring your supplement stack! The most common question or concern is below.
Rugby Player: ”I need to put weight on and get stronger but I’m only allowed to take *BRAND NAME* because I’m tested….”
This is a fair question/concern and players should be concerned about what’s in supplements these days, let’s not brush all lab tests on supplements under the carpet. Many companies have been found to be using banned substances in their pre-workout supplements and even more, companies have been caught amino spiking their protein powders. Check out LabDoor.com for results on all your favourite brands (It’s an eye-opener). This makes it scary to even experiment with brands but luckily informed sports have been working with many top end brands and we can list a few brands here that are 100% safe and all supplements are tested.
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You should also check out Top10Supplements.com for up-to-date info on all the top supplements.
From experience, the most important factor for a rugby player is to get bigger, faster and stronger. Let’s take a look at supplements that will help achieve these goals. To get bigger you need 2 things, 1) Eat above caloric maintenance 2) solid training routine. It’s that simple, consistency of the two will get you there, but it can be hard for many to pack on mass without the aid of supplementation. Not everyone can eat 4000 calories a day from good sources and reach their protein/carb/fat goals. That is why I would recommend a high-quality weight gainer such as kinetica oat gain or reflex instant mass. Both of these pack in the protein and also contain low GI, slow releasing carbs. You won’t find the usual sugar packed weight gainer here. How exactly will taking this supplement help you put on size? Typically taking a few servings a day of a weight gainer will give you an extra 1000 calories, the best time to consume a high caloric meal is after a training session. I recommend you consume a serving after each workout to help the body recover and grow. The combo of optimal recovery and extra 500-1000 calories a day will boost you to new mass and strength gains!
This is done through progressive overload, increasing the weight each week. Simple as that. There are training routines built solely to increase strength such as Rippetoes Starting Strength which I highly recommend and can be found here. We have designed a PDF version of the program so you can print off and follow!
There are a few supplements out there that can help increase strength, one being the ever so popular creatine. Creatine monohydrate can help increase strength by increasing the amount of ATP in the cells and volumize the cells for more nutrient intake. Creatine supplements are in the 1000s and 1000s so don’t be fooled by the “New creatine that increases strength 1000x more than creatine monohydrate with no bloating”. These type of creatine supplements last months in the market, there is a reason why creatine monohydrate is still going strong in the market and for over 30 years at that, IT WORKS. Creatine monohydrate is very cheap to buy, the best quality in terms of purity is “Creapure” creatine which is manufactured in Germany, so if you can’t choose between brands just make sure it’s Creapure and go for the cheapest! Creatine study article. An emerging contender for creatine in terms of effectiveness is Beta-Alanine, we have dedicated an article on that backed by research so take a look by clicking here. Pre-workouts are also good supplements to aid you in hitting new PRs and getting stronger by energizing you and making you feel up for a session. We can hit 2 birds with 1 stone here, a creatine supplement and also a pre-workout all in one which is TESTED and contains no banned substances. Brilliant! MusclePharm Assault is the name of this gem and it is packed with research-backed ingredients. This will be a great addition to any supplement stack.
Now we have a weight gainer to help us pack on lean quality muscle, we have a pre-workout and a creatine based supplement to help increase strength. What else do you need as a rugby player? Recovery is a vital factor, I know I covered recovery with the weight gainer but there are some great supplements out there for recovery. The highest rated supplement for this purpose is Scivation Xtend which is a BCAA supplement. This supplement helps reduce soreness (nothing worse than training or starting a game feeling sore), helps build muscle, helps preserve muscle and also helps reduce body fat! This supplement has it all and should be consumed before and during workouts with a high water intake. Another vital supplement for recovery is a simple whey protein shake. This should be consumed post workout ( if you are not using the weight gainer ) or can be used for breakfast with some oats. This is a staple in most lifters stacks and you should always have some on hand. Reflex Instant Whey has been independently tested versus the competition and came out on top with a solid 80% protein score. Many brands came in far under and not hitting their claimed protein % or amount. Reflex is a solid brand and very trustworthy, I would highly recommend Reflex Instant Whey over any other whey as it’s great value for money, has a high protein percentage and also comes out with great results from lab tests.
Multi-Vitamin & Fish Oil
A good multi-vitamin and fish oil supplement can go a long way! Multivitamins are needed in the life of a rugby player as it’s a very strenuous lifestyle and food alone won’t be able to replenish vitamins and minerals the body loses throughout the day/week. I found when lifting heavy for long periods of time, my joints would get sore and I wouldn’t feel 100%. I started taking a good multi-vitamin and fish oil supplement daily and after a week or two could notice a big difference. My joints felt lubricated again and doing pressing movements felt fluid. Another benefit of fish oil supplementation is the fat you get from them! Good sources of omega 3. 6 and 9.
What’s The Cost?
It may sound a lot to purchase all of them, but seriously it isn’t as bad as you think! Here is the list
- Reflex Instant Whey ( £69.99 ) 175 servings
- Reflex Instant Mass ( £59.99 ) 40 servings
- Scivation Xtend ( £45.99 ) 90 servings
- MusclePharm Assault (£26.99 ) 32 servings
- Multi-vitamin ( £29.99, high-end animal pak ) 44 servings
- Fish Oil ( £24.99 ) 120 servings
Approx Cost = £250
You can cut that down to £200 without the high-end fish oil and multi-vitamin option chosen in the list and cut another £60 without the weight gainer which isn’t 100% needed but will help! Let me stress that supplementation is not the “be all” of increasing muscle mass and strength, it’s an aid to your diet.
You can purchase all the supplements above from MyProtein for a much better price. The link to their website is on the sidebar to your right. Let us know what you think of the supplements and any questions please comment below.