Blog: Staying strong with JBC
The club's Head of Strength & Conditioning Nick Lumley shares his thoughts on staying fit and healthy during this period of uncertainty and why using JBC protein products has become a crucial part of the squad's routine.
Protein is an essential nutrient for all people, whether they are athletes or part of the general population. The body is constantly reacting to what you eat, when you eat it, how much you eat, when you exercise and how you exercise. Changing one of these things will influence how your body responds around whether it burns more fat, more carbohydrate, whether it stores fat or stores carbohydrate.
However, in rugby, you’re dealing with the constant balance between whether the body is storing proteins to build muscle, or breaking down muscle proteins, causing muscles to get smaller.
Muscle mass is critically important in rugby union.The best teams are strong, fast, athletic and they win collisions. All these things are under pinned by strong, healthy muscle mass. Every time you lift weights, particularly if they are heavy weights or if you go close to failure, the body will respond by trying to increase its muscle mass.
Due to COVID-19, we are compromised in our ability to train, we aren’t lifting weights in the same fashion as we normally would, so we have to make sure we are doing everything we can to hold onto our muscle mass while our training is compromised - and protein content in the diet is integral to this.
When should I eat?
Every time you consume an appropriate dose of protein in your diet, your body will respond by trying to increase its muscle mass, like after a weights session. This will last for about three hours. So, we encourage our players to consume protein every three hours from waking until they go to bed, with a bigger serving before bed.
What should I eat?
Proteins are built of amino acids, one of which is more important that the rest for promoting muscle mass. This amino acid is leucine. Dairy products offer the best source of leucine and so we supplement our players diets with protein supplements from a dairy source in the form of whey protein.
How much should I eat?
To promote the response, we are looking for we need to consume enough protein, after which having more serves no purpose until three hours have passed and you eat again. The amount we recommend is 25-30g per meal/snack. For the average man on the street, this is probably around 20g. While we promote whole foods, we also use whey protein drinks for snacks to ensure our players are getting enough protein to maximise the response we are after i.e. to maintain muscle mass.
We use whey protein from JBC as it is a perfect product, rich in quality amino acids, notably leucine. It is also drug screened to the highest standard so that we know it is free of banned substances. It is forming an integral part of our players diets during this period of compromised training.