18 April, 2019

SPORTS NUTRITION FOR FOOTBALL

Blog
160K

INTRODUCTION TO SPORTS NUTRITION IN FOOTBALL

Futbol Club Barcelona (FCB) is a centre of sporting excellence where it is recognized that appropriate nutrition is essential to health and performance of players. The Gatorade Sports Science Institute’s (GSSI’s) mission is to help athletes improve their health and performance through innovation, research, and education in hydration and nutrition science.

 

At FCB the different playing levels have varied competition programmes, with seasons of varying durations and matches played at various times of the year. For example, even at the professional level, programmes are often modified by the requirement to participate in additional competition, such as the Olympics, knockout cups, continental tournaments, and national team fixtures. The coordination of nutritional strategies would, therefore, seem difficult. However, it is important to note that the sports nutrition required to support performance is not specific to the team but specific to the individual player. Thus, similar nutrition principles can be applied to individual players across the varying football teams at FCB. Greater understanding of the physical demands of football has allowed a more scientific approach to training preparation and the manipulation of macronutrient ingestion to support training and match day performance and recovery. However, it is critical to have a working document that forms the basis for all recommendations. This is because we believe the most effective way to promote a culture of good nutrition practice is to adopt a multidisciplinary approach. In order to achieve this, everyone in the multidisciplinary team needs to work on the same basis. When trying to change a behaviour it is important that the player understands why he or she needs to change that behaviour and thus the team has to be able to explain the recommendations. However, a common challenge for practitioners embedded within football teams is to find time to collate the body of research to justify the recommendation.

 

1- PLAYER ENERGY BALANCE AND BODY COMPOSITION

In football, league competition does not require players to “peak” for an individual match. Instead, players are required to sustain a high level of performance over periods of weeks, if not months.

Thus, an objective of the professional football player is to maintain a body mass throughout the competitive season that is “realistic” from both a health and performance perspective. The energy intake and macronutrient content of the diet should be adjusted depending on the demands of training or match day performance as well as the specific goals of the player. Therefore, there is no “one size fits all” approach; rather the dietary requirements are specific to the individual player and should be modified depending on the work required (Jeukendrup 2014; Impey et al., 2016).

 

2- MICRONUTRIENT REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOTBALL

Besides consuming the macronutrients (i.e., carbohydrate, fat, and protein), players must consume relatively small amounts of certain micronutrients (i.e., organic vitamins and inorganic minerals) in the diet to maintain health (Rodriguez et al., 2009; Thomas et al., 2016).

Micronutrients have been reported to play a role in energy production, hemoglobin synthesis, bone health, immune function, and protection of the body against oxidative damage. They also assist with synthesis and repair of muscle tissue during recovery from exercise and injury (Rodriguez et al., 2009) (Chapter 8).

 

3- PROTEIN REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOTBALL

Unlike fat and carbohydrate, protein is not stored in the human body; all protein is integral and functional.

For example, contractile fibres within muscles and enzymes needed for many biochemical reactions in our body are all examples of proteins. An average 70 kg male player contains approximately 12 kg of protein and 220 g of free amino acids (Avril et al., 2003). Proteins are constantly broken down into amino acids and these amino acids then become available for the synthesis of other proteins. New amino acids are delivered through nutrition, whilst excess amino acids are either oxidized or metabolized to fatty acids or glucose. Muscle is an important tissue being responsible for 25-30% of whole-body protein metabolism and many of the adaptations we are interested in football occur within the muscle.

 

4- CARBOHYDRATE REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOTBALL

Fuel provided by ingesting carbohydrate plays a major role in the performance of many types of exercise and sport.

Carbohydrate and fat are the main fuels from a quantitative point of view, and these fuels provide the player with the energy required for training and matches. Carbohydrate is the most important fuel from a qualitative point of view as this is the fuel that is linked to high-intensity exercise performance as well as cognitive function.

 

5- FLUID REQUIREMENTS FOR FOOTBALL

The total water content of the human body ranges between 30-50 litres, which equates to approximately 55-60% of total body mass (BM).

Every day, water is lost from the players’ bodies in the form of sweat, urine and respiratory losses, whilst water is gained by the ingestion of foods and fluid in the players’ diets. The kidneys regulate water balance by adjusting urine output. Although the total body water content is remarkably constant, water turnover can be very high in some conditions such as when players train or compete in hot environments. In order to maintain fluid balance, water intake should be adjusted to fluid losses on a daily basis (Armstrong et al., 1998; Kavouras et al., 2012; Cheuvront & Kenefick 2014).

 

6- DIETARY SUPPLEMENTATION FOR FOOTBALL

Supplements are commonly used by players in pursuit of improved performance, accelerated recovery and enhanced general health.

In fact, reports have suggested that 43-93% of soccer players take some form of supplement (Knapik et al., 2016). Values of 40-50% were reported during the 2002 and 2006 FIFA World Cups (Tscholl et al., 2008). It is important to note that there is rarely a need to supplement if the diet of the player is healthy, varied and balanced. There are exceptions where supplements can help performance or recovery but in any case, they should be consumed to “supplement” a healthy balanced diet, not as a replacement.

 

7- NUTRITION FOR FOOTBALL INJURIES

Regardless of the level of participation, injuries are an unfortunate aspect of football activity.

One important consideration in the return to play process is nutrition because it is one method to counter the negative impact of an exercise-induced injury (Tipton 2015). Thus, this chapter will first focus on common injuries in football before discussing the nutritional considerations for injury prevention as well as those interventions to complement the physical rehabilitation program.

 

Editors

  • IAN ROLLO, PhD
  • ASKER JEUKENDRUP, PhD, FECSS, FACSM
  • JAMES CARTER, PhD
  • Mª ANTONIA LIZARRAGA, MD
  • FRANCHEK DROBNIC, MD, PhD
  • C. DANIEL MEDINA LEAL, MD, PhD

RELATED NOTES

GETTING INTO THE GAME: EVIDENCE THAT TEAM SPORTS HELP IN CHILDHOOD DEVELOPMENT.

Regardless of country or race, children’s eyes light up when they see a player from their team run out onto the pitch. That emotion is so special because in their heart they identify with the player, and they may even aspire to be like them someday, whether in sports or in life.

A PIONEERING RESEARCH ON SHOULDER MUSCLE ACTIVATION IN HANDBALL PLAYERS

Handball is one of the sports that are encompassed by the term overhead, a concept that includes sports based on a movement in which the arm is brought above the head.

THE FATMAX STRESS TEST AND THE ATHLETE’S TYPE OF ENERGY METABOLISM

An article published in the scientific journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise has shown that a FATMAX stress test on professional footballers not only provides cardiovascular fitness levels, but also helps to understand the players’ main energy metabolism.

CHANGING THE LIVES OF REFUGEE CHILDREN THROUGH SPORTS

It has been estimated that there are currently more than 65 million displaced people fleeing from wars, conflict and persecution. Half of them are minors, the most vulnerable population.

HOW CAN YOU TRAIN YOUR GUT FOR EXERCISE?

Up until a few years ago, it was considered normal for sportspeople to have digestive problems while exercising.

NORDIC HAM CURLS DO NOT IMPROVE SPRINTING PERFORMANCE

The hamstring muscle is very important in sports such as football. Not only because this muscle is key to sprinting, but also because hamstring muscle injuries are the most frequent kind of injuries.

MAGNETIC RESONANCE AND MUSCLE INJURIES: AN ANALYSIS OF THE CLASSIFICATIONS AVAILABLE

Muscle injuries make up more than 30% of sports injuries. It occurs that a professional football team can expect to suffer an average of 15 incidents related to muscle injuries per season

FOOTBALL IS FOR FOOTBALLERS

FC Barcelona recently held a conference entitled “Barça: Female and Diverse” to coincide with the International Women’s Day, organized at the Camp Nou facilities.

MAXIMUM DEMAND SCENARIOS IN POSITIONAL PLAY: ARE THEY EQUALLY REPLICATED ACROSS ALL POSITIONS?

Players’ conditional response during competition, for example, distance covered at a run, has traditionally been described using the average value covered during a half or full game.

THE INFLUENCE OF THE PERCEIVED EXERTION RATING ON FOOTBALL TRAINING AND COMPETITION.

Monitoring training load is one of the fundamental tools for optimising the performance of both elite athletes in general and football players in particular.

HOW DO THE NUMEROUS CONSTRAINTS AFFECTING ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE RELATE TO ONE ANOTHER?

We know that athletic performance is a complex phenomenon that depends on numerous constraints, but do we know how these constraints relate to and interact with each other?

A SIMPLE AND INNOVATIVE INDICATOR FOR WHEELCHAIR BASKETBALL AND WHEELCHAIR RUGBY TRAINING

Despite the growing interest in Paralympic sports, research into performance in elite wheelchair sports has seen very little development.

ENTROPY, A NEW MEASUREMENT IN STRENGTH TRAINING

The ability to sprint is essential in the majority of team sports, including rugby, soccer, and basketball. But this ability is not developed in stable and controlled conditions: players are constantly subjected to variable demands, whether receiving, carrying, passing, hitting, or throwing the ball.

ARE SMALL-SIDED GAMES THE SOLUTION TO ALL OUR PROBLEMS?

One of today’s most attention-grabbing topics among sports researchers, coaches and managers have to do with the study of maximal demand scenarios, also known as “worst case scenarios”.

POSITION SPECIFIC AND POSITIONAL PLAY TRAINING IN ELITE FOOTBALL: CONTEXT MATTERS

Those who have watched elite football across the last decade, realise that the game is more demanding than ever. This places more emphasis on training methods to prepare players for the rigors of the game.

FOUR EFFECTIVE TESTS TO PREVENT SUDDEN DEATH IN TEENAGE ATHLETES

Two in every one hundred thousand young athletes die every year from what is known as sudden cardiac death. It is a small figure, but every single case is devastating: not only for their families and loved ones, but also for society, which will be in shock at such an unexpected death.

VALIDATING THE DIFFERENT TRACKING SYSTEMS IN FOOTBALL

In November 2018, the Football Technology Innovation department at FIFA and Victoria University, conducted a research study in collaboration with the Barça Innovation Hub at the Mini Estadi, to explore the validity of the Electronic Performance Tracking Systems (EPTS) of 16 different companies.

PLAYER ORIENTATION, A KEY ASPECT OF PREDICTIVE MODELS IN FOOTBALL

In the OptaPro Forum this week, Carlos Rodríguez will be presenting a study currently being carried out by the club on the body orientation of players in different game situations. We sat down for a chat with him so that he could give us a brief explanation of the project.

WHICH VARIABLES DO WE TRAINERS LOOK AT TO HELP US MAKE DECISIONS?

Of all the variables provided by the systems that monitor and record our players’ activity, what is the most relevant information? This is a question that all coaches will probably face when they begin managing the large volumes of data generated in every training session.

AGAINST PSEUDOSCIENCE IN SPORTS

It would be completely inconceivable for education or professional practice in medicine, biology, or engineering not to be based on scientific evidence. However, although it is paradoxical, it is very common to find unscientific content in the science of sport and physical activity.

FC BARCELONA: HOW OUR NEW RESEARCH HELPED UNLOCK THE ‘BARÇA WAY’

For the first time, our new research may provide some insight into the training methodology and, potentially, the secrets of the club’s success. These “secrets” could be closely associated with the theories put forward by coach Paco Seirul·lo and how they link with cutting edge sports science.

Sports Performance
Blog

DO FOOTBALL PLAYER’S MENTAL ABILITIES INFLUENCE THE RISK OF INJURY?

Mental abilities, although not yet fully appreciated, are already considered a relevant part of performance. But their importance could go beyond that: Do they also influence the injury risk, including recurrence, once the player returns to play?

APPLYING FERRAN ADRIÀ’S CREATIVE AUDIT TO SPORTS

Is it possible to innovate or come up with new ideas in the sports industry using the chef’s technique? How can adapt these insights to our process? What have we learned?

Blog

CHANGING THE RULES OF THE GAME

If we change the rules of the game, we can change everything. Barça Foundation is defining these news rules to make sure no child is left out of the game. By playing we fight against injustice, marginalization and sadness.

NEW DATA ON PHYSICAL DEMANDS IN BASKETBALL PLAYERS

A basketball player performs approximately one thousand actions on average during a game, and at least one out of every ten requires high intensity. The detailed analysis of these physical demands allows for optimized training, improved performance and decreased injury risk.

Sports Performance
Blog

INJURY TYPE IN HANDBALL MAY VARY BY POSITION, CATEGORY AND MATURATION OF PLAYERS

Although several studies have tried to evaluate the characteristics of the risk of injury in handball players, they have been unable to reach sufficiently reliable conclusions. A new study of all the FC Barcelona handball categories has attempted to shed more light on the subject.

IS IT POSSIBLE TO DEVELOP AN “UNBREAKABLE” ATHLETE?

If the knowledge around the benefits of training load is increasing, is it possible for performance and medical staff to one day develop an “unbreakable” athlete? In a recent British Journal of Sports Medicine paper, researchers and practitioners joined forces to address this question.

Analysis and Sports Technology
Sports Performance
Team Sports
Blog

HOW PHYSICAL DEMANDS ON FOOTBALL PLAYERS VARY BY THEIR POSITION

Although there are several studies on this topic, many of them have analyzed these demands by looking at just a few variables or using very broad timeframes. A new study completed by physical trainers from F.C. Barcelona has analyzed several of these details more closely.

Health and Wellness
Sports Performance
Blog

THE GREAT UNKNOWN OF MUSCLE INJURIES: CONNECTIVE TISSUE IN THE EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX

An article published in The Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine —in which members of the club’s medical services participated— now suggests to consider the detailed structure of the area affected, and treating the extracellular matrix as an essential player in the prognosis of the injury.

INFLUENCE OF ANALYTICS ON SCOUTING FOR EACH TEAM PROJECT PHASE IN THE NBA AND THEIR APPLICATION TO CHAMPION LEAGUE TEAMS

Barça Innovation Hub
Blog

BARÇA SPORTS SCIENCE WEEK KEEPS GROWING

The last edition of Barça Sports Science Week was held from October 8 to 11 at Camp Nou. More than 1200 visitors and more than 60 speakers from 53 different nationalities attended to learn about the latest advances and case studies in sports science.

MUSCLE INJURY GUIDE – PREVENTING AND TREATING MUSCLE INJURIES IN FOOTBALL

There are many physical and mental health benefits to training and playing football, however, there is also, unfortunately, one key adverse effect; an increased risk of injury, with muscle injuries being one of the most common injuries we see in elite football.

HAMSTRING AND OTHER MUSCLE INJURIES IN CHILDREN AND YOUNG ATHLETES

This is a groundbreaking study that addresses hamstring injuries in children and youth. The results indicate that the risk is lower than it is in adults, though no less significant, and that it increases progressively with age.

Sports Performance
Blog

WHAT IS LOAD MANAGEMENT REALLY ABOUT?

In this article, Tim Gabbett and his team provide a user-friendly guide for practitioners when describing the general purpose of load management to coaches.

Sports Performance
Blog

TWO WEEKS ARE ENOUGH TO INCREASE MUSCLE VOLUME AND STRENGTH

For the first time, it has been demonstrated that it does not take months of training to significantly improve both muscle volume and strength; instead, two weeks of an appropriate exercise are enough.

EMPOWERING COACHES WITH NEW INTERACTIVE TECHNOLOGIES

We are pleased to announce our venture with Coplays. A Finnish app for coaches, allowing them to easily create animated drills, plays and drawings which are convenient to their needs.

RECOVERY NUTRITION FOR FOOTBALL: BUILDING A TEAM

Analysis and Sports Technology
Team Sports
Blog

Degrees of freedom or degrees of slavery?

The understanding of the modifying variables of the game, based on the degrees of freedom.

Soccer from First Principles

The goal of this post is to outline a series of principles that are considered to be crucial to understand the development of FC Barcelona’s playing style.

Analysis and Sports Technology
Blog

THE IMPORTANCE OF BIOSTATISTICS IN SPORTS SCIENCE AND SPORTS MEDICINE

Sports Analytics has grown exponentially thanks to IT sciences and it also encompasses other subareas (e.g. sports sciences, behavior sciences, medicine or data visualization) in addition to statistics with a focus that is more tactical and sports performance related.

Sports Performance
Team Sports
Blog

ECCENTRIC EXERCISES: STUDYING “VACCINES” FOR MUSCLES

Training using eccentric exercises is important to prevent possible damage. However, intensive training can also cause muscle damage, so it is critical to be vigilant in order to keep injury risk to an absolute minimum.

SURGERY FOR CENTRAL HAMSTRING TENDON INJURIES: AN INTERNAL STUDY

Two years ago, the FC Barcelona medical team decided to operate on the athletes with this type of injury. What were the results?

Barça Innovation Hub
Blog

Barça Innovation Hub organises innovation forum at Levi’s Stadium, Santa Clara

Meeting held in collaboration with the San Francisco 49ers brings together sports industry leaders and academics specialising in the management of sporting innovation.

AN OBJECTIVE CLASSIFICATION OF MUSCLE INJURIES

An objective and appropriate classification would improve the accuracy of prognosis, allow treatment to be adjusted and reduce the risk of re-injury.

STUDY OF HIGH INTENSITY ACCELERATIONS AND DECELERATIONS IN SOCCER

A new dimension of analysis suggests that maximum accelerations occur with a frequency 8x greater than sprint actions.

Sports Performance
Team Sports
Blog

THE LEVEL OF RESISTANCE AS A MODERATOR OF THE TRAINING LOAD

Cardiovascular endurance manifests as a moderator of the load result to which the athlete is exposed.

PRE-SEASON TRAINING LOAD AND INJURY RISK

The pre-season or preparatory phase of the season is a time when major “errors” in training load management are often committed.

Sports Performance
Blog

Are the players well positioned in relation to the ball?

Through the use of computer vision we can identify some shortcomings in the body orientation of players in different game situations.

The Athlete’s Physical: an Essential Examination

A health check must detect situations which, despite not showing obvious symptoms, may endanger athletes subject to the highest demands.

Sports Facilities: The New Boom in the Sports Market

This model looks to the future with the requirements and demands of a new era of stadiums, directed toward improving and fulfilling the experiences of fans and spectators, remembering “feeling” and “passion” when designing their business model.

Spaces in Soccer from a Quantitative Perspective

In the words of Johan Cruyff, “Players, in reality, have the ball for 3 minutes, on average. So, the most important thing is: what do you do during those 87 minutes when you do not have the ball? That is what determines whether you’re a good player or not.” 

Diagnostic Imaging in Sports Medicine: Present and Future

Muscle injuries account for more than 30% of all injuries in sports like soccer. Their significance is therefore enormous in terms of training sessions and lost game time.

Barça Innovation Hub: A Great Sports Laboratory for the Future of Sport

One of the fundamental principles of the Barça Innovation Hub is the conviction that, in scientific research and innovation projects, collaboration between different types of entities generates more efficient and robust results which are suitable for the needs of end users.

YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE?

  • SUBSCRIBE
  • CONTACT
  • APPLY

KEEP UP TO DATE WITH OUR NEWS

Do you have any questions about Barça Universitas?

  • Startup
  • Research Center
  • Enterprise

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

PLEASE COMPLETE THE FIELDS:

The Form has been sent successfully.