Dietary habits and energy balance in an under 21 male international soccer team

Dorianne Caruana Bonnici, Ibrahim Akubat, Matthew Greig, Andy Sparks, Lars R. Mc Naughton*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (journal)peer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)
52 Downloads (Pure)


Soccer presents a metabolic challenge which is not necessarily matched by players’ habitual dietary intake. To examine the effects of a bespoke diet, 22 players completed the Ball Sport Endurance and Sprint Test (BEAST 90mod) protocol, followed by 4 days of regulated nutritional intake. The diet consisted of 10 g∙kg −1 body mass (BM) and 1.7 g∙kg −1 BM of carbohydrate and protein, respectively. On day 5, players followed a prematch nutritional strategy of 7 g∙kg −1 BM of carbohydrate and 1 g∙kg −1 BM of protein divided into three meals and then repeated the BEAST 90mod. The players’ pre-intervention intake consisted of 49 ± 7.1% or 3.5 g ± 1.0 g∙kg −1 BM for carbohydrate and 19 ± 3.8% of total daily energy intake or 1.3 g ± 0.5 g∙kg −1 BM for protein. Following the tailor-made dietary intervention, players ran an additional 887 ± 233 m (8.1%; d = 2.4). An acute dietary intervention provided a positive effect on a valid simulated soccer match play test.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)168-177
Number of pages10
JournalResearch in Sports Medicine: An International Journal
Issue number2
Early online date25 Jan 2018
Publication statusPublished - 3 Apr 2018


  • Dietary intervention
  • nutrition
  • performance


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