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Dublin: 14 °C Tuesday 16 October, 2018

7 ways to eat like a rugby player

4000 eggs, anyone?

YOU MAY FIND it hard to believe but that’s the amount of eggs the Irish Rugby team eat during the course of a major rugby tournament.

Four. Thousand. Eggs.

When you divide it down though – it’s not actually that mad.

It’s approximately 650 eggs per week and 21 eggs per week per player – as there are 31 players altogether. So really, it’s only 3 eggs a day for each team member.

That’s not so daunting now, is it?

The rugby players need 20 grammes of protein in each meal – that is equivalent to three eggs. Rugby player Fergus McFadden explains why rugby players and athletes generally need more protein than the average person:

Eggs are an essential part of my diet and they are an excellent source of protein for anyone who exercises regularly. Athletes require more protein in their diet throughout the day. As eggs are a slow digesting food they are also a great evening meal after intense exercise for recovery of muscles into the night.

Source: Billy Stickland/INPHO via Bord Bia

Fergus, along with Irish rugby player Sophie Spence and Daniel Davey, a senior performance nutritionist, have devised delicious egg recipes that provide a high protein content as well as essential amino acids – which help aid muscle building and recovery after training.

And we’ve rounded up some delicious examples to give you a taste of the action.

Here are seven delicious recipes that the Rugby team eat on a regular basis.

Now, most of us aren’t professional rugby players, so the guidelines for us mere mortals is to stick to 7 eggs a week. Still, there’s plenty of scope to make a couple of these meals a week – and pretend you’re on the Irish squad.

Remember to always choose eggs with the Bord Bia Quality Mark when shopping.

Now let’s get cracking…

Eggs baked with tomatoes and ham

Bord Bia - Daniel Davey - Alan Rowlette Photography Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

This dish is packed full of goodness with ham, tomatoes, garlic and spinach as well as a couple of eggs cracked on top and baked to perfection. It takes around 20 minutes to make and serves two.

Baked potatoes with eggs

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

A baked potato is such comfort food – but how about turning it into a meal fit for a world-class athlete. That’s easy when you crack an egg on top and bake it in the oven for another 10-15 minutes.

Beef Keftas with tomatoes and eggs

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

This is a Moroccan-inspired recipe with a delicious spiced (but not spicy) flavour. This would be a hearty dinner and could be served with cous cous to continue the Middle Eastern theme.

Boiled eggs with hummus

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

This recipe is really easy to prepare in advance and have waiting in your fridge ready for you to snack on. You can buy hummus or make it from scratch, either way it’s a protein-filled treat for when you’re feeling a little peckish.

Buckwheat crepes with smoked salmon and avocado

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

You can get your egg intake in other ways than just boiled, scrambled or fried – how about in a crepe? These crepes are dairy-free and are topped with smoked salmon and avocado, giving you a super nutrition hit and a very fancy brunch.

Quinoa frittata with spinach and feta cheese

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

This frittata really packs a nutrition-punch, as it adds quinoa into the mix as well as spinach, feta and chicken, ham or bacon. Quinoa is known for having a high level of protein as well as lots of other minerals such as manganese, magnesium, copper, iron and zinc.

So, now.

Potatoes with eggs and green cabbage

Source: Alan Rowlette via Bord Bia

This would make a gorgeous brunch if you have people coming over. They’ll be so impressed with your skills, they won’t even realise how much nutrition they’re scoffing down. You can even add some chilli flakes to the cabbage if you fancy spicing things up a little.

Inspired? Let us know if you’ll try any recipes in the comments below.

Eggs are an egg-sellent (groan) ingredient to base any meal around, from breakfast to dinner. They’re easy to digest and are a great source of protein and essential amino acids. And at less than €2 for 6 they’re great value too. Remember to always choose eggs with the Bord Bia Quality Mark when shopping. Head over to Bord Bia to find out more about the nutritional benefits of eggs and some more nutritionist-devised recipes.

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