Why are ruggers at the highest levels using Coconut Oil?

Coconut Oil to fuel for your performance? 

Let us preface this tip that we promote Low Carb, High Fat (LCHF). And when we say fat we are talking about healthy fats or saturated fats like meats and coconut oil, not the trans-fat crap. When we say low carbs we are taking about foods that naturally have carbs (such as vegetables and fruits) not process carbs like cereal, breads, past and straight sugar.

What we propose is a bit counter intuitive from what people have been saying for years, but trust us that’s slowing changing. We are wanting to push you guys to becoming more fat adapted which means you get your body to burn fats (healthy fats) as fuel vs the carbs/sugars. There is a book dropping soon by Professor Grant Schofield who covers the All Blacks strength and conditioning coach and researcher Nicholas Gill, who in this past world cup moved the World Cup Champions to LCHF diet.

One of the ways that Gill reported to Prof Schofield that he moved the All Blacks to the LCHR was use of Coconut Oils. One of the big changes was the viewing of film The Sugar Film, by the team which allowed people to be open to getting the sugars out and then work on reducing the carbs. He then worked to introduce more healthy fats and that has been with coconut oil. Prof Schofield said the team was going through 6-7 tins of coconut oil a week leading up to and during the 2015 RWC.

Coconut oil is good for both immune system and digestion. Coconut Oil burns easily in the body like carbs, but its not a carbs. Coconut oil has the quality fatty acids which are important for you body to function (Aspry 2015). You need fats in your diet and body, but they must be the fats you body needs. This form of fat provided the boy with medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) which the body used for energy.

England’s James Haskell who has his own brand of coconut oil (Tagaloa) he uses it in most his foods from cooking, to smoothies, to other foods. He says “My mentality is that diet is 70% of everything we do, to get a healthy body and healthy lifestyle”. Use of healthy fats is a big part of his diet and training.  While Coconut or even MCT Old (which is made from Coconut Oil) is not the end all, it is a good way to get started on changing your diet/eating habits and getting good fats.

Professional clubs and their staff like Nigel Ashley Jones who is the Performance Manager for the Sale Sharks has the players using its are part of their daily diets.  Coco Pacific another brand of coconut oil was a RWC sponsor!

Coconut oil (not coconut milk or the powder crap or coconut sugar) can raise the metabolic rates and help your body burn fat more effectively according to Matt Lovell (Atkins, 2008). Lovell a nutritionist with the Rugby Football Union (England) said the 2007 England World Cup side had adopted the use of coconut oil and healthy fats and that the players on that 2007 team were 5 lbs of muscle heavier than those players had been on the 2003 team. The big change was adding healthy fats (and in the form of Coconut oil) (Atkins, 2008).

More top level players are going to a diet that eliminates sugars, and processes foods for more real foods and healthy options. Some are even ditching the use of supplement as a replacement for a good diet, and rather seeing supplements as that (something to off set a good tide vs replace). We aren’t saying and they aren’t saying supplement are bad, but they can't be the only thing you take in. You need to eat real food mostly and fill the gaps with supplements. Now you can view something like coconut oil as a supplement or a main part of your diet.

You can’t look at things like healthy fats via calories (until you read the Calorie Myth, or Good Calories Bad Calories). Know that the body burns off calories from things like coconut oil more quickly that from other fats making coconut one of your best options for good fats (Atkins 2008),  Lovell said that unlike other fats (saturate which is good vs the trans which is bad) have no cholesterol so there goes that argument as well.

Best part of the use of coconut oil is that you can use it in so many ways. You can cook with it. You can put it things like smoothies (for those you may want to use MCT, as the regular coconut oil will clump up with the ice, etc.). You can put it in coffee and teas (and as long as you do add sugars, etc. you are good). In some instances you can take small (and it has to be small unless you want the runs, trust us) amounts of the MCT oil straight as well. MCT Oil is great on the go, the coconut oil is great for home. 

So you have tons of options on what coconut oil you use or MCT oil, they have them at every supermarket. We use the MCT and Coconut Oil from our affiliate Onnit (click on the MCT oil image to get more), but there are others, Cave Man Coffee Co has an MCT oil, etc.

All this will lead you eventually becoming fat adapted (which means your body burns fat for fuel vs carbs) or closer to ketogenic diets, or ketosis. We’ll work to bring your some more info on that from some great experts. In case you don't believe us see the stories we referenced below, or start googling coconut oil and rugby and or sport performance and see what comes up. 

Atkins, Lucy. "Coco loco". The Guardian January 15, 2008

Asprey, Beatrice "10 Foods All Rugby Players Should Be Eating During Pre-Season Training". www.rugbyworld.com August 11, 2015. 

Schofield, Grant " Dr. Nic Gill, Low Carb, Low Sugar and The All Blacks". profgrant.com November 2, 2015
 10 Foods Rugby

UR7s.com England Rugby Player James Haskell Talks About Supplements