Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2006) 05, 130 - 137

Research article
Nutritional Practices of National Female Soccer Players: Analysis and Recommendations
Louise Martin1, , Anneliese Lambeth1, Dawn Scott2
Author Information
1 University of Worcester, School of Sport & Exercise Science, Henwick Grove, Worcester, UK
2 Medical and Exercise Science Department, The Football Association, Lilleshall Hall, Shropshire, UK

Louise Martin
✉ University of Worcester, Henwick Grove, Worcester, WR2 6AJ, UK
Email: l.martin@worc.ac.uk
Publish Date
Received: 16-06-2005
Accepted: 06-02-2006
Published (online): 01-03-2006
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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


           Key Points
  • Female soccer players demonstrate a low energy intake in relation to predicted requirements, but were in energy balance in this study.
  • Increased carbohydrate intake may be beneficial to both training and competition performance of elite female soccer players
  • Fluid requirements should be addressed on an individual basis and matched to player requirements.
  • The iron status of female soccer players may be compromised due to insufficient dietary intake to meet the DRV.
 
 
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