JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCE & MEDICINE
http://www.jssm.org
 

Research article  


NUTRITIONAL PRACTICES OF NATIONAL FEMALE SOCCER PLAYERS: ANALYSIS AND RECOMMENDATIONS

Louise Martin1 , Anneliese Lambeth1 and Dawn Scott2


1University of Worcester, School of Sport & Exercise Science, Henwick Grove, Worcester, UK
2Medical and Exercise Science Department, The Football Association, Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire, UK


Received   16 June 2005
Accepted   06 February 2006
Published   01 March 2006

© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 5, 130 - 137

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ABSTRACT
The aim of the study was to establish the nutritional practices and activity patterns of elite female soccer players. The nutritional intake of 16 female England Soccer players was self-reported over a seven-day period. Participants were provided with written and verbal guidelines for the completion of the diaries. Training details were also recorded, and used in combination with BMR predictions to calculate daily energy expenditure. Energy, macronutrient and micronutrient intakes were determined using DietMaster 4.0 software. Results suggest that energy intake was low (1904 ± 366.3 kcal) in relation to previous recommendations for soccer players. Energy expenditure (2153.5 ± 596.2 kcal) was not significantly different (p > 0.05) from intake, suggesting energy balance was achieved. Carbohydrate (53.8 ± 6.8%), protein (16.8 ± 2.1%) and fat (28.8 ± 6.6%) intakes were in line with recommendations. Fluid intake (2466 ± 1350.5ml·day-1) was sufficient to meet baseline recommendations, but would need to be higher to meet the additional requirement of training and competition. With the exception of vitamin A and iron, all micronutrient intakes were higher than the DRI. In conclusion, recommendations for female soccer players are to encourage consumption of carbohydrate-electrolyte beverages to enhance carbohydrate intake and increase fluid intake, and ensure sufficient iron rich foods are included in the diet to meet the DRI.

KEY WORDS: Energy, intake, expenditure, carbohydrate, fluid, micronutrient.


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