Pre-season meal options perfect for Leinster players
During the pre-season, players are aiming to get into the best possible shape for the up-coming season by increasing muscle mass and reducing body-fat.
To achieve these performance goals they must fuel their body with the right amount of energy and nutrients.
The focus for players is to eat high energy meals which are balanced with quality protein, slow digesting carbohydrate and healthy fats.
Tasty and enjoyable recipes that meet their nutrient targets are hugely important for the players, the more variety and options they have the easier it is to stick to their nutrition plan.
Below are two recipes that the players regularly enjoy.
1 - Breakfast Smoothie
Smoothies are a great way to meet nutrient targets, particularly for early morning training sessions when players need a breakfast that will be digested quickly.
Below is a smoothie recipe that players often have for breakfast on the morning of heavy training days.
It contains all the essential nutrients (protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats) needed to set them up for a hard day of training.
200 mL whole milk
2 Tbsp. oats
3 Tbsp. Greek yogurt
Handful of frozen mixed berries
5 Tbsp. blueberries
1 tsp. coconut oil
1 Tbsp. almond butter
1 tsp. honey
Place all ingredients in a blender and blend till smooth, pour and serve
2 - Thai Chicken curry with green vegetables and rice
A chicken curry recipe is flavoursome, filling and nutritious making it a great dinner option after an intense day of training. The chicken provides the protein, it can be accompanied with rice for carbohydrate and the mixed vegetables provide essential nutrients athletes need to recover and adapt from an intense day in the gym.
2 chicken breasts, chopped
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil
1 clove of garlic crushed
50g snap peas or other green vegetables
1 thumb-sized piece of ginger, finely diced
1 small onion, finely diced (optional)
1 Tbsp. Thai green curry paste
1 can of coconut milk
1 bell pepper, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp. fish sauce
3 Tbsp. cashew nuts
1 tsp. honey
Handful of fresh coriander
Handful of fresh basil
1. Pre-heat an oven to 180°C
2. Season chicken, and bake in the oven for 15 minutes.
3. In a pan on medium-high heat, heat some oil before adding onion, garlic and ginger and stirring for a couple of minutes - don't burn.
4. Add green curry paste and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Once cooked and fragrant, add the coconut milk and bring to a gentle simmer for 5 minutes.
6. Add in the chopped bell pepper, snap peas, lime juice, fish sauce and honey, and continue to simmer.
7. Remove chicken from oven, chop into bite-sized pieces and add to the curry.
8. Once the peppers are tender, the curry is ready.
9. Add chopped coriander and basil, and finish with some toasted cashew nuts.
Further recipes and nutritional advice from Daniel Davey is available at foodflicker on facebook and Twitter.
Daniel Davey, BSc MSc, Performance Nutritionist with Leinster Rugby