After the exhilarating weekend of action, Ireland is in the quarter finals of the Rugby World Cup and we are daring to dream.
World Cup fever is certainly upon us. For those of us not lucky enough to be heading for Cardiff, the telly will be the only place to be on Sunday. However, the question has to be asked: what is the snack of choice and how healthy is it? Probably not the biggest question in most of our minds on Sunday, but an important issue nonetheless!
With all the complicated rules in rugby your body needs to be alert, so remember a water/squash/diet drink will hydrate your body, allowing you to concentrate on the game at hand. Alcohol like beer, lager, or stout will depress and slow down your thoughts and reactions, so true fans should stay hydrated and keen for that post-match mental replay and analysis.
Salt-laden snacks, such as crisps and peanuts, will only make you thirsty, with dehydration affecting concentration levels. They are also jammed full of fat; in other words they will make you fatter. The aim is not to require a pre-Christmas diet.
So what can you snack on?
Chopped vegetables and fruit: even ‘real men’ can eat fruit. Let’s face it, when you are really concentrating taste does not matter.
Air-popped popcorn: high in fibre, low in fat, and good to satisfy the need for a crunch. Just keep away from the salted, buttered, or sugary varieties.
Just eat nothing: it’s radical really, but the game only last 80 minutes. The team does not eat (well there is the rumour about Jaffa cakes, but the team is running it off ), and you definitely will not starve over this time. At least, I do not believe there has ever been a recorded incident of starvation while watching the rugby!
Take an exercise break during half time, even if it is just a stretch. With a bit of luck we will tame the Pumas and head all the way to the final. Ah, the stuff of dreams. Come on Ireland!
For more information or for more information on diet and nutrition, contact The Community Nutrition and Dietetic Service, HSE Dublin-Mid Leinster on (044 ) 9353220 or email [email protected].