• Rugby Recovery

    Rugby Recovery

    So, you just played an 80-minute match of 15’s or an all-day tournament of 7’s in the blazing heat all day. Your body hurts (if it isn’t broken) and you’re exhausted. What next? Your first thought is obviously probably “Give me a pint!” Nothing tastes better than a cold pint after an intense match, but it may not be the best thing to drink immediately after. I’ll give you the what and why on rugby recovery, so hopefully after a match (and social) you won’t have to spend the entire next day laying on the couch waiting to feel better.

    1. Sports Drinks

    As we all know from those sports drinks commercials, you lose electrolytes from sweating. But what exactly are electrolytes? For the simplest explanation, electrolytes are basically molecular compounds that dissolve in water. This is why certain sports drinks are full of sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and such. After a match, your body is dehydrated and drinking alcohol will only further dehydrate it. (Having a killer hangover the day after? This is why). The salt and potassium in sports drinks help your body retain more water to replace what you lost. Water likes to follow salt. So if you ever eat a salty meal and feel bloated, your body is retaining a lot of water.

    2. Ice

    We have all seen athletes using ice baths after practice or even after a game. But why would you want to sit in a tub full of ice if there isn’t any beer in it? A day or two after a hard workout, or even right after a match, your muscles are sore. Besides having lifted an incredible amount of weight or being physically beaten by someone who is twice your size, you may be asking yourself “What is causing this soreness?” Many people think that it is lactic acid causing this. In all actuality, muscle soreness is caused by inflammation of the muscle itself. Applying ice to the region that is sore will help decrease the inflammation and soreness and possibly taking anti-inflammatory medicine can help as well.

    3. Protein

    After a workout or even a match, your muscles need fuel to recover from the beating they have just taken. When lifting, you are actually breaking down the muscle. It needs protein to help it rebuild. To help your muscles rebuild, drink a protein shake or have a meal within a half an hour after your workout to receive optimal benefits. Carbohydrates are also good to have after a match or workout to replace muscle glycogen stores (energy stores) to re-supply energy that was lost.


    Hopefully some of this information helps you to recover from a workout or match more quickly before you party your face off at the social after the match.

    Brett Schreiber, Kinesiology and Physical Therapy buff for the Arkansas Gryphons.


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