Dietary and performance assessment of elite soccer players during a period of intense training

Jesús Rico-Sanz, Walter R. Frontera, Paul A. Molé, Miguel A. Rivera, Anita Rivera-Brown, Carol N. Meredith

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    69 Citations (Scopus)


    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 ± 0.62s, 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.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)230-240
    JournalInternational Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


    • Body fat
    • Carbohydrates
    • Energy expenditure
    • Energy intake
    • Intermittent exercise


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