Click name to view affiliation
Purpose: To evaluate energy expenditure, energy intake, and nutrient adequacy of Indian junior soccer players. Method: Forty junior national-level soccer players (Under-12 and Under-16 age groups) were assessed for 3-day weighed food records and 3-day energy expenditure. Energy and nutrient intake was analyzed from food records, and energy expenditure was measured using a portable metabolic analyzer and activity records. Nutrient adequacy was determined by comparing intake with prevailing recommendations. Results: Players exhibited no significant difference between energy intake (boys = 3062 [340.9] and girls = 2243 [320.3] kcal·d−1) and expenditure (boys = 2875 [717.3] and girls = 2442 [350.3] kcal·d−1). Across age groups, the Under-12 boys showed positive energy balance as against energy deficits in Under-16. Girls showed energy deficits, although not significant. There were 58% of girls showing energy availability <30 kcal·kg−1 fat-free mass, of which 37% were Under-16 players. Carbohydrates contributed to >60% of energy expenditure among 95.2% boys and 73.7% girls. Among 52.4% boys and 47.4% girls, <25% of energy expenditure was contributed by fat. More than 95% players consumed <1 g·kg−1 carbohydrates pretraining and 100% of them consumed >1.2 g·kg−1 carbohydrates posttraining. Conclusion: Junior soccer players consumed more than recommended carbohydrates in the diet, although not aligning with the pretraining, during training, and posttraining meal requirements. Considering the energy deficits observed among Under-16 players, a suitable dietary modification is warranted.
Cherian, Sainoji, and Yagnambhatt are with the Department of Work Physiology and Sports Nutrition, National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Nagalla is with the Biostatistics Division, National Institute of Nutrition, Indian Council of Medical Research, Hyderabad, Telangana, India. Sainoji, Nagalla, and Yagnambhatt are also with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, Government of India, Hyderabad, Telangana, India.