At the Captain's Table
Eat like a captain and not like a king. A diet for sport should be calculated, planned and periodised. It has you and your goal at the heart but should be shaped depending on your lifestyle, dietary habits and desire. Nutrition can often seem confusing but in truth it should be very simple and easy. There are always complications and considerations but don’t let that frustrate you. At Maximuscle we believe that nutrition can be easy to understand whatever your goal. To help us explain the dietary fundamental’s in building your nutrition plan we have been joined by England captain Chris Robshaw.
Don't Leave it to Guess Work
Whether you lead your country out at rugby’s biggest stage or you’re heading to the gym after work, every workout counts. Training is taken seriously, it’s never easy but the rewards are worth it. If training is serious, why then would nutrition be seen any different? Nutrition and training go hand-in-hand and both help and support each other. It’s therefore important that individuals are more calculated and specific with their needs, requirements and goals.
Since 1919 (Harris & Benedict), scientists have calculated a theoretical model to help determine an individual’s calorific requirements which has been adapted over the years to include activity adjustments. Here is Robshaw’s theoretical nutrition requirement based on the Harris Benedict formula.
|Weight||Height||Age||BMR||Activity Factor||Total KCal||CHO %||PRO %||FAT %|
|CHO (kcal)||PRO (kcal)||FAT (kcal)|
|CHO (g)||PRO (g)||FAT (g)|
CHO per BM = 5.4
PRO per BM = 1.9
By inputting Robshaw’s weight, height and age, nutritional science would recommend that he consume 3995 kcal on training days, with 599 g of carbohydrate, 200 g of protein and 89 g of fat. This proposed diet is then manipulated depending on Chris’s training load, focus and recovery time.
Fit for a Captain
At 188 cm (6 ft 2 in) and 110 kg (17.3 stone) captain Robshaw needs a sizeable plate to maintain and build his stature. Typical of a flanker, Robshaw finds it difficult to consume the right amount of healthy calories in without compromise. Here’s an example of a typical dietary day for Chris.
|0800||Breakfast||Scrambled eggs (2 large eggs) on granary toast (2 slices)||306||23||19||14|
|0830||Pre Training||Banana (medium)||116||27||1||0|
|1100||Post Training||Maximuscle Progain Shake||500||69||30||10|
|1330||Lunch||Chicken breast (200g) with mediterrean vegetables (150g), sweet potato (130g) and houmous (30g)||491||37.9||68||6.3|
|Mixed fruit (bowl)||162||38||1||1|
|1600||Post Training||Maximuscle Progain Flapjack||324||45||23||7|
|1830||Dinner||Sirloin steak (200g) with mushrooms (85g) and sweet potato (130g)||448||39||57||12|
|Frozen yoghurt (200g)||248||47||5.2||1.8|
|2030||Evening Snack||Mixed nuts and fruit (100g)||521||30||15||39|
|2200||Before Bed||Skimmed milk (300ml) with 1/2 serving of Maximuscle Progain||446||64||34||6|
*Nutritional information calculated using the USDA Nutritional database
When comparing the scientific recommendations with Robshaw’s diet, you will notice that the high demands of eating healthy by avoiding high fat foods and simple carbohydrates requires a sizeable diet. The carbohydrate content of Robshaw’s diet will fluctuate depending upon his training load and volume with the higher amounts, closer to 599 g being reserved for those heavy, high intensity days. It can be hard but “just be strict and stick with it,” advises Robshaw.
As testament to Robshaw’s diet, splitting your daily diet into more manageable frequent meals is the best approach. He aims to eat 20-40 g protein in each meal (where possible) to support muscle maintenance and development. To support this and to help reach the required calorific requirement, Robshaw has a food first approach but supplementing with sports nutrition can be hugely beneficial, particularly following training.
Maximuscle Top Tips to building or supporting muscle Mass & Size
Anyone can pack the calories in by eating unhealthily but for individuals wishing to build or support muscle mass and size, finding the right balance to support muscle growth and control weight management is crucial. Using Robshaw’s diet as an example, here are some top tips from Maximuscle to help you build your own strategy:
- Forget the 3 meals a day ethos try to eat 5-6 smaller meals per day
- Each meal should be similar in calorific amount and nutrient balance
- Eat every 2-3 hours
- Include protein in every meal to support muscle growth
- Plan and prepare your meals the day before to limit deviation and stay focused
Robshaw Fun Facts:
- Robshaw burns approximately 1/3 of his daily dietary intake in a game of rugby (1217 kcal)
- The protein content of Robshaw’s daily diet is equivalent to 5 average beef steaks (252 g per steak)
- Robshaw’s diet should consist of ~89 g of fat which equates to 801 kcal
- 599 g of carbohydrate is equivalent to 3.5 kg of potatoes
As featured in Chris Robshaw’s dietary plan, Maximuscle Progain is his product of choice to supplement his diet and support his training. Progain provides 500 kcals per serving with 30 g of protein perfect to fill a gap in an already bursting diet; an easy and convenient way to provide both the calories and protein needed to support his goals.
Your diet is exactly that, ‘yours’. Yes there are some basic rules and guidelines but ultimately to fully support your fitness goals your nutrition plan should be tailored to you. For the England captain Chris Robshaw, nutrition is a key part to his success. It’s not always strict dieting and clean living but any cheats or treats are earned. All the hard work pays off; you just need to be ready to work hard to achieve it.