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  • Author: Balakrishna Nagalla x
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Keren Susan Cherian, Ashok Sainoji, Balakrishna Nagalla and Venkata Ramana Yagnambhatt

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.