How can rugby players recover and get ‘game-ready’ like the professionals?

George Kruis
George Kruis

If, by the time you read this, you have already been browsing our website and store (even if you have not yet gone as far as actually purchasing any of our CBD products or other supplements), you might already know that fourfive was literally founded by two professional rugby players, George Kruis and Dom Day, who played for the English and Welsh national teams respectively.

One of the main factors that led us to set up fourfive, was our shared experiences of injury recovery, and of the approaches that did or did not aid us in that recovery. This process, in turn, helped entrench in us a strong belief in the potential value of CBD for athletes in a wide range of situations.

So, as eyes across the globe turn to the action at the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France, we thought we would share some of our own thoughts and advice on the recovery routines that best serve professional rugby players.

Hopefully, these words will be useful for you, whether you personally play rugby on a professional or amateur basis.

Make sure you get adequate sleep

Yes, we know; it can feel tiring in itself at times, to be constantly told that you need to be getting more of that “shuteye”. However, the fact remains that so many people take for granted the notion that they’ll get enough sleep, somehow… or that they’ll “get by” on very little.

This is an attitude that would be bad enough for the day-to-day life, health, and wellbeing of a non-athlete. But for someone who might partake in such a vigorous sport as rugby for a living, it is utterly perilous.

The “repair mode” that your body enters when you drift off is crucial; it means the body’s energy can be devoted to boost the production of growth hormones and restore those muscles that will have taken such a hammering in your most recent game.

And as we have written about previously, a link has been drawn between the use of CBD and possible benefits for restful sleep. So, if getting to sleep after a match is something that you struggle with, it could be worth seriously considering adding some CBD supplementation to your current recovery regime.

Adopt a preventative, rather than reactive, approach to recovery

You might have heard about the benefits of preventative maintenance for the equipment that you use at work, as opposed to a reactive approach. The idea, of course, is that by identifying potential issues – or even the mere scope for certain problems to happen – before the situation has a chance to deteriorate, you can take timely action to fix them.

And if your average factory does that for its equipment to prevent breakdowns from happening, why don’t we always do that for our bodies, too? If you take pride in being a responsible professional, then, you really should be thinking ahead to help ensure you recover well after every match, and guard against the risk of injuries.

You should therefore take the time to figure out how many physio, massage and stretch sessions you will need to do a week, so that you can be sure of your body remaining in the best possible condition throughout a punishing rugby season.

Even simply learning to breathe effectively can make such a massive difference in terms of calming your body’s sympathetic nervous system. Again, it’s all part of an ethos of “prevention is better than cure”.

Eat a healthy and balanced diet that is geared towards recovery

Yes, even those who only engage in this sport on the most casual and amateur basis, should be responsible about what they eat. But it is especially important for us to emphasise its importance for the post-match period, given that there might be a temptation to instead skip food and have a few beers with friends immediately after a game.

Instead, be sure to eat consistent meals after games. A good starting point for such recovery could be the consumption of 20-50-gram protein and drink beverages. This can be followed by – over the next few days – eating genuinely healthy meals that contain sufficient nutrients to assist with your body’s healing processes and get your energy levels back up.

One thing that you definitely shouldn’t be treating yourself to in the immediate aftermath of a tough rugby match, is alcohol. It is the liver, after all, that has to break down alcohol, and this isn’t a brilliant situation when you need the liver for the production of glucose.

That point brings us neatly on another crucial one on fluids: make sure you stay hydrated, with water rather than beer. The latter, we’re afraid to say, will only keep you dehydrated for longer and slow down your recovery. Our own Hydro Plus tablets may also contribute to your post-exercise recovery regimen.

There is, of course, a lot more that we could say on the subject of how rugby players can recover like pros (whether or not they actually are pros), as well as on the possible advantages of CBD for athletes. But hopefully, the above will have given you some timely inspiration.

To start discovering through direct experience what our CBD oils, capsules, topicals, and other supplementation and hydration options could mean for your recovery regime and day-to-day life, why wait any longer to get browsing the fourfive online store