Significant Changes in Resting Metabolic Rate Over a Competitive Match Week Are Accompanied by an Absence of Nutritional Periodization in Male Professional Soccer Players

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Jennie L. Carter Department of Sport and Exercise, Research Center for Life and Sport Sciences (CLaSS), School of Health Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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David J. Lee Department of Sport and Exercise, Research Center for Life and Sport Sciences (CLaSS), School of Health Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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Craig G. Perrin Department of Sport and Exercise, Research Center for Life and Sport Sciences (CLaSS), School of Health Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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Mayur K. Ranchordas Advanced Wellbeing Research Cener, Health Research Institute, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, United Kingdom

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Matthew Cole Department of Sport and Exercise, Research Center for Life and Sport Sciences (CLaSS), School of Health Sciences, Birmingham City University, Birmingham, West Midlands, United Kingdom

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Resting metabolic rate (RMR) is an important component of total daily energy expenditure; however, it is currently not understood how it varies across a typical competitive match week in professional soccer players. For the first time, we aimed to assess RMR throughout an in-season competitive week in professional soccer players. Additionally, we aimed to assess energy and carbohydrate intake across the same week. Twenty-four professional soccer players from an English Premier League club (age: 18 ± 1.6 years) completed the study. RMR was assessed each morning of a typical competitive match week (match day [MD] −3, −2, −1, +1, +2, and + 3), and dietary intake (including MD) was assessed daily via the remote food photography method and 24-hr recall. Daily training load was quantified using Global Positioning System, daily muscle soreness ratings were recorded, and body composition was assessed via dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. There was a significant (p = .0004) increase in mean RMR of ∼261 kcal/day on MD + 1, compared with MD − 1. Additionally, volume of oxygen consumed significantly increased at MD + 1 (p = .0002) versus MD − 1. There were no significant differences in daily energy or carbohydrate intake across the competitive week (p > .05), with inadequate carbohydrate intakes on MD − 1 (∼3.9 g/kg body mass), MD (∼4.2 g/kg body mass), and MD + 1 (∼3.6 g/kg body mass) in relation to current recommendations. We report, for the first time, that RMR is significantly increased following a competitive match in professional soccer players. In addition, we confirm previous findings to reinforce that players exhibit inadequate nutrition periodization practices, which may impair physical performance and recovery.

Carter (jennie.carter@bcu.ac.uk) is corresponding author.

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