AN ATHLETE DOESN’T clock off when their training session is over.
Maintaining your body at its optimum shape is a 24-hour gig. And for rugby players, the job is complicated further by the need to maintain a weight from week to week so that they can perform at the peak of their powers every time they cross the whitewash.
In an intense training week, Conor Murray’s daily requirement is more than 3,500 calories per day to sustain his fighting weight of 93 kilos.
The task is no doubt much easier on a post-game day when he can indulge his cravings for pizza and Tayto crisps, but here’s how Munster’s scrum-half balances his carbohydrates, fat and proteins the rest of the week, on any given training day.
“On an average day,we’d have weights in the morning so I’d get up and cook four poached eggs, maybe a bit of smoked salmon avocados, wholegrain toast – an espresso then out the gap and into weights.
“You’d have your pre-weights shake there waiting for you. ”
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
“Once you come out of weights you have a recovery shake. For lunch, there’s a sports bar right beside our gym and we go there and have soup and a sandwich – I might have a steak sandwich or whatever’s there.
“I have to keep eating. If I had a couple of days where I ate poorly you’d really notice it.
Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO
“After training, you’d have another recovery shake and then home to make your dinner. it’s a never-ending cycle but it’s what I have to do to make sure I stay at my fighting weight.”
As The42 is immensely fond of carbohydrate and cheese combinations, we broach the subject of a ‘cheat day’ with the Lions scrum-half. But Murray is adamant, that it can never happen on a school night:
“Monday to a Saturday kick-off, it’s pretty strict. If I had a cheat day on a Wednesday I’d probably feel bad on a Thursday. Not even physically, but just knowing that I had let myself down.”
Cooking is something Murray does really enjoy, so there is doubtless more variety to his evening meals than the routine that takes him through daily training at UL. When it comes down to it, though, he proudly reveals his signature dish as monkish and lemon mashed potatoes.
“I don’t know how good it tasted, but I enjoyed it anyway. I cooked it for one of the lads and he said it was nice… hopefully he was telling the truth.”
Source: Dan Sheridan/INPHO
It’s important to note that Murray’s diet is designed to sustain (and often increase) weight for a pro athlete who burns a huge amount of calories each and every day.
MaxiNutrition (formerly MaxiMuscle) has re-launched a new product range in Ireland with the #feedyourmuscles campaign that aims to educate everyday exercisers on the benefits of protein-based sports nutrition.