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Jamie Heaslip's Nutrition Plan

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Start Leading from the Back of the Pack

A diet for sport should be calculated, planned and periodised. It has you and your goal at the heart but should be shaped depending on your lifestyle, dietary habits and desire. Nutrition can often seem confusing but in truth it should be very simple and easy. There are always complications and considerations but don’t let that frustrate you. At MaxiNutrition we believe that nutrition can be easy to understand whatever your goal. To help us explain the dietary fundamental’s in building your nutrition plan we have been joined by Irish No.8 Jamie Heaslip.

Don't Leave it to Guess Work

Whether you represent your country out at rugby’s biggest stage or you’re heading to the gym after work, every workout counts. Training is taken seriously, it’s never easy but the rewards are worth it. If training is serious, why then would nutrition be seen any different? Nutrition and training go hand-in-hand and both help and support each other. It’s therefore important that individuals are more calculated and specific with their needs, requirements and goals.

Since 1919 (Harris & Benedict), scientists have calculated a theoretical model to help determine an individual’s calorific requirements which has been adapted over the years to include activity adjustments. Here’s Heaslip’s theoretical nutrition requirement based on the Harris Benedict formula.

Weight Height Age BMR Activity Factor Total KCal CHO % PRO % FAT %
110kg 193cm 31 2327.2 1.725 4014 60 20 20
CHO (kcal) PRO (kcal) FAT (kcal)
2409 803 803
CHO (g) PRO (g) FAT (g)
602 201 89

CHO per BM = 5.5

PRO per BM = 1.8

By inputting Jamie’s weight, height and age, nutritional science would recommend that he consume 4014 kcal on training days, with 602 g of carbohydrate, 201 g of protein and 89 g of fat. This proposed diet is then manipulated depending on Jamie’s training load, focus and recovery time.

To Play at 8 You Need a Big Plate

At 193 (6 ft 4 in) and 110 kg (17.3 stone) Jamie Heaslip needs a sizeable plate. Protein in particular helps to maintain and build his muscle mass. For Ireland’s number 8, Heaslip’s finds it difficult in getting the right amount of healthy calories in without compromise. Here’s an example of what a typical day’s worth of food looks like for Jamie.

Time Meal Foods Calories Carbohydrate Protein Fat
0800 Breakfast Scrambled eggs (2x large eggs) on granary toast (2 slices) 306 23 19 14
0830 Pre Training Banana (medium) 116 27 1 0
1100 Post Training MaxiNutrition Progain Shake 500 69 30 10
1330 Lunch Chicken breast (200g) with mediterrean vegetables (150g), sweet potato (130g) and houmous (30g) 491 37.9 68 6.3
Mixed fruit (bowl) 162 38 1 1
1600 Post Training MaxiNutrition Progain Flapjack 324 45 23 7
Apple (medium) 95 25 1 0
1830 Dinner Sirloin steak (200g) with mushrooms (85g) and sweet potato (130g) 448 39 57 12
Frozen yoghurt (200g) 248 47 5.2 1.8
2030 Evening Snack Mixed nuts and fruit (100g) 521 30 15 39
2200 Before Bed Skimmed milk (300ml) with 1/2 serving of MaxiNutrition Progain 446 64 34 6
TOTAL 3657 444.9 254.2 97.1

*Nutritional information calculated using the USDA Nutritional database

When comparing the scientific recommendations with Heaslip’s diet, you will notice that he limits the consumption of high fat foods and simple carbohydrates. The carbohydrate content of Heaslip’s diet will fluctuate depending upon his training load and volume with the higher amounts, closer to 602 g being reserved for those heavy, high intensity days. It can be hard but “just be strict and stick with it,” advises Heaslip.

As testament to Jamie’s diet, splitting your daily diet into more manageable frequent meals is the best approach. He aims to eat 20-40 g protein in each meal (where possible) to support muscle maintenance and development. To support this and to help reach the required calorific requirement, Heaslip has a food first approach but supplementing with sports nutrition, particularly following training, can be hugely beneficial.

MaxiNutrition Top Tips to building or supporting muscle Mass & Size

Anyone can pack the calories in by eating unhealthily but for individuals wishing to build or support muscle mass and size, finding the right balance to support muscle growth and control weight management is crucial. Using Heaslip’s diet as an example, here are some top tips from MaxiNutrition to help you build your own strategy:

  • Forget the 3 meals a day ethos try to eat 5-6 smaller meals per day
  • Each meal should be similar in calorific amount and nutrient balance
  • Eat every 2-3 hours
  • Include protein in every meal to support muscle growth
  • Plan and prepare your meals the day before to limit deviation and stay focused

Heaslip Fun Facts:

  • Heaslip’s burns approximately 1/3 of his daily dietary intake in a game of rugby (1217 kcal)
  • The protein content of Heaslip’s daily diet is equivalent to 5 average beef steaks (252 g per steak)
  • Heaslip’s diet should consist of ~89 g of fat which equates to 801 kcal
  • 602 g of carbohydrate is equivalent to 3.5 kg of potatoes

Product Support

As featured in Jamie Heaslip’s dietary plan, MaxiNutrition Progain is his product of choice to supplement his diet. Progain provides 500 kcals per serving with 30 g of protein; an easy and convenient way to provide both the calories and protein to help to support his goals.


Your diet is exactly that, ‘yours’. Yes there are some basic rules and guidelines but ultimately to fully support your fitness goals your nutrition plan should be tailored to you. For the Ireland’s Jamie Heaslip, nutrition is a key part to his success. It’s not always strict dieting and clean living but any cheats or treats are earned. All the hard work pays off; you just need to be ready to work hard to achieve it.

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