This review summarizes results from studies investigating the physical characteristics, daily energy expenditures, diets, and effects of nutritional supplements to the habitual diets of soecer players. The results show that players fall within a wide range of stature and body weight, and they are classified as mesomorphs. The body fat of male players is about 10% of body weight, whereas the average for females is about 21%. Energy expenditure for males is about 4,000 kcal on training days and 3,800 keal on match day. while energy intake reported in other studies is on the order of 3,700 kcal. Carbohydrate (CHO), fat, and protein intakes are about 53,30, and 14% of energy intake, respectively, the remaining being from alcohol intake. There are indications that CHO supplements might be beneficial during soccer performance. However, more research is needed to clarity the importance of branched-chain amino acid and creatine supplementation in soccer.
JesÚs Rico-Sanz, Walter R. Frontera, Paul A. Molé, Miguel A. Rivera, Anita Rivera-Brown and Carol N. Meredith
This study examined the nutritional and performance status of elite soccer players during intense training. Eight male players (age 17 ± 2 years) of the Puerto Rican Olympic Team recorded daily activities and food intake over 12 days. Daily energy expenditure was 3,833 ± 571 (SD) kcal, and energy intake was 3,952 ± 1,071 kcal, of which 53.2 ± 6.2% (8.3 g ⋅ kg BW−1) was from carbohydrates (CHO), 32.4 ± 4.0% from fat, and 14.4 ± 2.3% from protein. With the exception of calcium, all micronutrients examined were in accordance with dietary guidelines. Body fat was 7.6 ± 1.1% of body weight. Time to completion of three runs of the soccer-specific test was 37.65 ± 0.62 s, and peak torques of the knee flexors and extensors at 60° ⋅ s−1 were 139 ± 6 and 225 ± 9 N ⋅ m, respectively. Players' absolute amounts of CHO seemed to be above the minimum recommended intake to maximize glycogen storage, but calcium intakes were below recommended. Their body fat was unremarkable, and they had a comparatively good capacity to endure repeated bouts of intense soccer-specific exercise and to exert force with their knee extensors and flexors.