Journal Title (Medline/Pubmed accepted abbreviation): Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc.Metabol.
Page Numbers: 365-376
Background:Rugby is a high intensity sport that is gaining popularity in the US and other parts of the world. Irish school-age students are given courses on basic nutrition but not sport-specific advice.
Research goals: To investigate the attitudes towards nutrition, nutrition knowledge, and nutrition practices among Irish rugby players age 15-18 y as well as body composition.
Subjects:Senior schoolboy rugby players (n = 203), age 15-18 y
Experimental design: field study (no intervention)
Protocol: Each participant was measured for height, weight, and hydration status after a 4 hr fast. Percentage body fat was determined using bioelectrical impedance (in the hydrated state). The participants completed a questionnaire that inquired about position in rugby, training schedule, nutrition and hydration habits, nutrition knowledge and attitudes, and places where they obtain nutrition information (coaches, magazines, etc.)
This group of athletes, although not completely ignorant, could definitely benefit from nutritional education, especially regarding timing of nutrient consumption and the fact that supplements are not necessary for great performance if they consume healthful whole foods. Creatine was consumed by a large proportion of these adolescents. Coaches should take the time to provide nutrition education for their athletes; it will likely help their performance. There is a large gap between nutritional knowledge and nutritional practices, so it is also important to find ways to translate nutritional knowledge into improved nutritional behavior in these athletes.