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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.