Bulk up with Breakfast
Gaining muscle mass involves a lot more than hammering the gym – and it goes without saying that nutrition plays a critical role in your body’s metamorphosis. From packing in the protein to getting creative with your carb intake, bulking up requires an ongoing dietary commitment but brings with it a wealth of rewards you can see and feel.
For rugby players in particular, power is a top priority – and staying in peak physical condition is a key part of staying at the top of your game. If you’re looking for a meal plan that doesn’t sacrifice taste in the name of weight gain, we’ve got you covered. Work these muscle-building meals into your daily diet and watch the transformation.
They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day – and this protein-filled shake is sure to get yours off to a refreshing start. Almonds are packed with heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and magnesium – and by working this fruity breakfast shake into your daily meal plan, you can maximise your metabolism and stockpile on protein in one go.
- 1 cup of blueberries
- 2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
- 1 oz of almonds
- 1 cup of vanilla almond milk
- 1 cup of water
- 3 or 4 ice cubes
If you’ll be introducing this to your daily diet, invest in a durable drinks bottle so you can take your shake on-the-go.
Grilled Salmon and Quinoa Salad
Quinoa is a complete protein which goes brilliantly with chicken or fish – and if you’re looking for a little variety in your mission to build muscle mass, this lean lunch option is ideal. On the night before, roast some of your favourite veggies in the oven for 15 minutes, while cooking the salmon and quinoa on the hob.
- Half a cup of cooked quinoa
- Half a cup of roasted vegetables
- 6 oz of grilled salmon
Mexican Scrambled Eggs
Eggs are a staple of any muscle-building diet plan, as they provide a source of protein that’s versatile and tastes great. Scrambled eggs make an ideal first meal of the day – and by opting for the Mexican twist, you can pile on the protein with a meal that’s clean, delicious and easy to make.
Heat ½ a tablespoon of olive oil in a pan on medium-high heat and add chopped vegetables, such as peppers, tomatoes and onions. Crack two eggs and add some egg whites to the pan, then scramble with a spatula until the eggs are fluffy and white. After that, sprinkle some salt and pepper in there – and for some added flavour and spice, try garlic and a hint of cayenne pepper.
This convenient meal is a great way to get a combo of protein, carbs and fat in as little time as possible. To keep your calories under control, we suggest opting for carb-reduced bread for a sandwich designed to make building muscle mass the priority.
- 2 slices of wholegrain bread
- 3 or 4 slices of deli turkey breast
- 2 or 3 slices of fat-free cheese
- (Optional) mustard and fat-free mayo
Pork Loin and Potatoes
Pork loin and potatoes is a delicious meal that packs in 846 calories of flavourful goodness – with a whopping 62g of protein and 16g of carbs. Quick to cook and full of variety, this dish offers a welcome alternative to shakes and sandwiches.
- 4 tbsp of canola oil
- 8 oz of pork loin
- 1 ½ diced red potatoes
- 1 large diced sweet potato
- 1 cup of white rice
- 2 tbsp of red onion, sliced
- ½ cup of chopped carrots
- 1 cup of broccoli florets
- ½ red pepper, sliced
Heat 1 tbsp of the canola oil in a nonstick skillet on medium-high heat – then saute the potatoes, stirring regularly until they brown, which should take around 12 minutes. After that, clear the skillet and add 2 tbsp of oil, then cook the pork loin for 3 minutes on each side. Cook the rice as per its instructions, then heat another tbsp of canola oil on medium-high – sauteeing the onion, broccoli, carrots and red pepper until the vegetables are tender and slightly brown. This part should take about 10 minutes. After that, you’ve got a clean, protein-packed meal ready to eat!
With your meal plan sorted, you’re part way there. By combining the right diet, the right gym routine and the right training equipment, you can bulk up in as little time as possible – with the satisfaction that your body is getting the TLC it deserves.
Find out more: Pre-Season Nutrition for Rugby