The RL diet: Chris Hill on how short turnarounds impact what players eat

Drew Darbyshire

Photo courtesy of Richard Long

The rugby league diet is our new feature where we give you an insight into the eating habits of your favourite professional players, in partnership with Heaven ‘N’ Health.

Great Britain and Warrington prop Chris Hill is our second guest…

Talk to us about your diet Chris…

“It varies to be honest. Some lads struggle to put weight on, some lads maintain weight easily and some put on weight easily, so it just depends on your physique really and what your body does.

“It also depends what type of training we are doing as well. If we have a short turnaround then I will usually load up a bit more on carbs.

“If we have a longer turnaround leading up to a game then we’ll have salads. My wife does a good job in making them!

“If we play on a Friday then I’ll have salads until the Wednesday night and then I’ll have some carbs in the day because we would have been training.”

Game day preparation…

“The night before the game is always my choice of carbs. My wife will ask me ‘what do you want?’ and then I’ll have something like spaghetti bolognese or lasagne, so it’ll be something with heavy carbs in so I’ve got plenty of energy for the day after. I’m very regimented in my eating routine.”

There are usually a couple of pizza boxes in the changing rooms after a game, why is that?

“The day after a game – we just eat to get as many calories back into us. There are a few lads who eat directly after a game but I can’t eat until about three or four hours after the game has finished because I feel sick.”

Favourite cheat meal…

“I love Chinese takeaways and pizza.”

Tell us something we don’t know about a rugby player’s diet…

“We make big sacrifices. The kids are eating smiley faces and beans and you want to dip in with them but you can’t!

“In all seriousness though, we make a lot of sacrifices throughout the year. The kids will want to go out but you don’t want to be stood there watching them play football on the field because you don’t want to go three or four hours without drinking water.

“The general public probably don’t see a lot of the sacrifices we as rugby players have to make but it’s worth it. We give up a lot but we get the rewards.”