The All Blacks' matchday diet that has them on the brink of history
New Zealand are one victory away from equalling a world record for most consecutive Test match wins. South Africa stand in their way this weekend.
After the Springboks come Ireland, twice in a fortnight. With Italy in between, the world champions could be sitting pretty - and dominant - at 20 Test victories in a row.
As Paul O'Connell notes in his upcoming autobiography, The Battle, 'there's New Zealand and then there's everybody else'.
An innate passion for the sport and the fact that youngsters play it in their droves from an early age has certainly helped, as does the sheer physical size of Kiwis and the Pacific Islanders [first, second generation or naturalised] that make up their squads.
Rugby teams the world over look to New Zealand as the standard bearers and often mimic whatever they have going on. They lead, others follow.
Still, thanks to Ruck Science, we have been given a glimpse at the matchday diet that fuels the All Blacks. Their nutritionist, Kat Darry says the squad will consume a lot of 'healthy fat', such as peanut butter and coconut oils, and operate in a 'low-sugar environment'. No sweet tooths indulged.
Here is what your average AB has on matchday:
BREAKFAST: Peanut butter on toast and roasted tomatoes. Omelette with egg whites, butter and coconut oil mixed in. Simple greens like spinach and a half an avocado. Fresh fruit including oranges and bananas (for their potassium content).
LUNCH: Lean chicken, rice, pasta and sweet potatoes eaten at least three hours before warm ups.
PRE-MATCH: Porridge with bananas, almond butter and honey. Water and some salts/nitrate supplements probably encouraged.
POST-MATCH: Nuts and nut butters, fluids and simple fruits. Shake with whey protein, bananas and walnuts.
DINNER: Red meats including steak, lamb chops and ribs. Green vegetables including spinach, guacamole and brussel sprouts, and sweet potatoes.
We suspect this is not a million miles away from what the Irish rugby squad take on-board on the day of a game.
Maybe a beer or wine if the result goes their way. Maybe.
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