There was an article posted on the Rugby World web site yesterday headed ‘Should Rugby Players Eat Sugar?’


It is a question and answer session with a nutritionist from the RFU (you know those wonderful folks introducing non-competitive rugby – so well worth a read then!)


It is extremely informative – I mean apparently there’s absolutely loads of sugar in biscuits, cake and confectionary – I mean who would have thought it – ta RFU for the heads up!

Also there’s sugar in pizza – especially the peanut and deep fried Mars bar one presumably.

When I watch rugby players on TV it seems to me that there’s not too many players who appear to be spending that much time in McDonalds or stuffing Krispy Kreme’s into their cake hole (sic). Having said that, there are one or two who might want to have a good butchers at the article – possibly at Wasps and Saracens (and I don’t mean Christian Wade or Jacques Burger obviously).

With all the time they spend in the gym, cryotherapy, ice baths and belting around on a Saturday afternoon I find it hard to believe that there’s too many blokes that are in dire need of being told not to guzzle Starbucks Chocolate Mocha or full fat Coke.


The article helpfully informs us that “If you drink more than two and a half cans of fizzy pop a day, it can increase your liver fat, which is not good.” And even more useful is the fact that we should avoid “cakes and pastries” Advice that is right up there with “if you can’t afford condoms then you can’t afford kids” and “wearing headphones does not make your farts silent”!

To stop taking the piss for a minute there is one jolly good tip – “Before you exercise, a bowl of porridge is good with some yoghurt and berries, and a tiny spoonful of honey.”

This is very sensible – a good dose of that and you are almost certain to chuck it up as soon as you start to tear around the pitch getting knocked over and stamped upon – excellent way to lose weight as more than just the porridge is likely to be regurgitated. It has the added benefit of making your opposite number somewhat reluctant to tackle you.

I do agree however with the suggestion that “Sugar during exercise can be good as well” – a couple of Yorkie bars and a fudge donut at half-time never did me much harm I can tell you!

Despite all this valuable and previously unknown information, I may just have spotted a slight flaw – and it’s a perennial problem for rugby players – there are 182 calories in a pint of beer (I Googled this, obviously – it’s not something I carry around in my head – although it is quite often in my stomach).

This could be a bit of a nuisance for the highly trained athlete – as pointed out by Martin Johnson who once famously said “player drinks beer, shock!”

When I played (alright – turned up and put boots on), our recovery diet after the game (and occasionally before if we were feeling confident) consisted of a large quantity of throwing bitter (or hooligan soup to give it its more accurate description) followed by a chicken madras and a gallon or so of Cobra.

I readily admit that not all of us Askeans would have been recruited for the Chippendales (the Full Monty, not knocking out furniture or being in a Disney cartoon) but we didn’t look like we were Weight Watchers’ rejects when we trotted out, either.

I do, however, exclude myself from this positive image during most Januarys – the toll of having to attend countless Agency parties rather than training in December, plus lashings of Christmas Pud and Chateau Neuf usually meant that I was often a trifle (sic) porky early in the New Year.

Mind you, even then, I still tipped the scales a bit shy of 14 stone which didn’t exactly make me as scary as Jamie Roberts, Manu or George North.

Still, anyone who thinks that cake and chocolate should be on the menu every day should definitely look up the RW article – just try to get your pudgy digits to work the keyboard.