Ukljucite javascript
Register Log in

Archive > Year 2009, Number 1

Nutritional Intake Of Semi-Professional Soccer Players During A Week In The Competitive Season


Chryssanthopoulos Costas, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens
Kontzinos Kostas, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens
Maridaki Maria, Faculty of Physical Education and Sports Science, University of Athens
Petridou Anatoli, Faculty of Physical Education and Sport Science, Aristotelio University of Thessaloniki


The purpose of this study was to investigate the nutritional intake of semi-professional soccer players during a week in the competitive season. Sixteen Greek 4th national division soccer players volunteered to participate. Four players were identified as under-reporters and therefore the diets of 12 participants were included in the analysis. Their age, height, and body mass (BM) were 24.5 ± 1.1 years, 178 ± 2 cm, and 72.4 ± 1.6 kg, respectively (mean ± SE). Subjects recorded their diet during a week starting on Wednesday and finishing on Tuesday, with Sunday being the game day. Total energy intake was 11.8 ± 0.4 MJ and was derived from carbohydrate by 43 ± 1 %, fat by 39 ± 1 %, protein by 17 ± 1 %, and alcohol by less than 1 %. Throughout the recording period mean carbohydrate intake was 4.2 ± 0.1 g/kg BM and protein intake was 1.6 ± 0.1 g/kg BM, while the fibre intake was only 4.5 ± 0.3 g/1000 kcal. The pre-competition meal on the day of the game was also characterised by low carbohydrate content (43 ± 3 %), whereas its fat content was high (40 ± 3 %). Also, during the recovery period after the game the food intake of the players was not optimal for replenishing body carbohydrate stores. In terms of micronutrient intake, players met the Dietary Reference Intakes with the exception of folic acid, magnesium and vitamins D and E. The diet of the semi-professional soccer players was characterised by low carbohydrate intake, high fat content, and low fibre consumption, whereas the amount of proteins was at satisfactory level.


diet, game day, macronutrients, micronutrients

Download full article


  1. American College of Sports Medicine (2000). Position Stand: Nutrition and athletic performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc., 32: 2130-2145.
  2. Bangsbo, J., Mohr, M., & Krustrup, P. (2006). Physiological and metabolic demands of training and match-play in the elite football player. J Sports Sci., 24: 665-674.
  3. Bangsbo, J., Norregaard, L., & Thorsoe, F. (1992). The effect of carbohydrate diet on intermittent exercise performance. Int J Sports Med., 13: 152-157.
  4. Black, A. E. (2000). Critical evaluation of energy intake using the Goldberg cut-off for energy intake: basal metabolic rate. A practical guide to its calculation, use and limitations. Int J Obesity., 24: 1119-1130.
  5. Boisseau, N., Le Creff, C., Loyens, M., & Poortmans, J. R. (2002). Protein intake and nitrogen balance in male non-active adolescents and soccer players. Eur J Appl Physiol., 88: 288-293.
  6. Burke, L. M., Cox, G. R., Cummings, N. K., & Desbrow, B. (2001). Guidelines for daily carbohydrate intake. Do athletes achieve them? Sports Med., 31: 267-299.
  7. Burke, L. M., Loucks, A. B., & Broad, N. (2006). Energy and carbohydrate for training and recovery. J Sports Sci., 24: 675-685.
  8. Clark, K. (1994). Nutritional guidance to soccer players for training and competition. J Sports Sci., 12: S43-S50.
  9. Ebine, N., Rafamantanantsoa, H. H., Nayuki, Y., Yamanaka, K., Tashima, K., Ono, T., Saitoh, S., & Jones, P. J. H. (2002). Measurement of total energy expenditure by the doubly labelled water method in professional soccer players. J Sports Sci., 20: 391-397.
  10. FAO/WHO/UNU. (1985). Energy and protein requirements. Report of a Joint FAO/WHO/UNU consultation. Technical Report Series 724. Geneva: World Health Organization.
  11. Farajian, P., Kavouras, S. A., Yannakoulia, M., & Sidossis, L. S. (2004). Dietary intake and nutritional practices of elite Greek aquatic athletes. Int J Sport Nutrition Exerc Metab., 14: 574-585.
  12. FIFA/F-MARC. (2006). Consensus Statement. Nutrition for football: The FIFA/F-MARC consensus conference. J Sports Sci., 24: 663-664.
  13. Food Standards Agency. (2002). McCance and Widdowson’s the Composition of Foods. Cambridge: Royal Society of Chemistry.
  14. Garrido, G., Webster, A.L., & Chamorro, M. (2007). Nutritional adequacy of different menu settings in elite Spanish adolescent soccer players. Int J Sport Nutrition Exerc Metab., 17: 421-432.
  15. Giada, F., Zuliani, G., Baldo-Enzi, G., Palmieri, E., Volpato, S., Vitale, E., Magnanini, P., Colozzi, A., Vecchiet, L., & Fellin, R. (1996). Lipoprotein profile, diet and body composition in athletes practicing mixed and anaerobic activities. J Sports Med Phys Fitness., 36: 211-216.
  16. Goldberg, G. R., Black, A. E., Jebb, S. A., Cole, T. J., Murgatroyd, P. R., Coward, W. A., & Prentice, A. M. (1991). Critical evaluation of energy intake data using fundamental principles of energy physiology: 1. Derivation of cut-off limits to identify under-recording. Eur J Clin Nutrition., 45: 569-581.
  17. Hickson, Jr. J. F., Johnson, C. W., Schrader, J. W., & Stockton, J. E. (1987). Promotion of athletes' nutritional intake by a university foodservice facility. J Am Diet Association., 87: 926-927.
  18. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. (1997). Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  19. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. (2002). Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy, Carbohydrates, Fiber, Fat, Fatty Acids, Cholesterol, Protein, and Amino Acids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  20. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. (1998). Dietary Reference Intakes for Thiamin, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Vitamin B12, Pantothenic Acid, Biotin, and Choline. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  21. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. (2001). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Arsenic, Boron, Chromium, Copper, Iodine, Iron, Manganese, Molybdenum, Nickel, Silicon, Vanadium, and Zinc. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  22. Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Science. (2000). Dietary Reference Intakes for Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Selenium, and Carotenoids. Washington, DC: National Academy Press.
  23. Ivy, J. L. (1991). Muscle glycogen synthesis before and after exercise. Sports Med., 11: 6-19.
  24. Jacobs, I., Westlin, N., Karlsson, J., Rasmusson, M., & Houghton, B. (1982). Muscle Glycogen and diet in elite soccer players. Eur J Appl Physiol., 48: 297-302.
  25. Johansson, L., Solvoll, K., Bjorneboe, G. E., & Drevon, C. A. (1998). Under- and overreporting of energy intake related to weight status and lifestyle in a nationwide sample. Am J Clin Nutrition., 68: 266-274.
  26. Kabasakalis, A., Kaitsis, K., Tsalis, G., & Mougios, V. (2007). Imbalanced nutrition of top-level swimmers. Int J Sports Med., 28: 780-786.
  27. Lemon, P. W. R. (2000). Beyond the zone: protein needs of active individuals. J Am College Nutrition., 19: 513S-521S.
  28. Lemon, P. W. R (1994). Protein requirements of soccer. J Sports Sci., 12: S17-S22.
  29. Maughan, R. J. (1997). Energy and macronutrient intakes of professional football (soccer) players. Br J Sports Med., 31: 45-47.
  30. Reeves, S., & Collins, K. (2003). The nutritional and anthropometric status of Gaelic football players. Int J Sport Nutrition Exerc Metab., 13: 539-548.
  31. Rico-Sanz, J., Frontera, W. R., Mole, P. A., Rivera, M., Rivera-Brown, A., & Meredith, C. N. (1998). Dietary and performance assessment of elite soccer players during a period of intense training. Int J Sport Nutrition., 8: 230-240.
  32. Ruiz, F., Irazusta, A., Gil, S., Irazusta, J., Casis, L., & Gil, J. (2005). Nutritional intake in soccer players of different ages. J Sports Sci., 23: 235-242.
  33. Saltin, B. (1973). Metabolic fundamentals in exercise. Med Sci Sports., 5: 137-146.
  34. Schofield, W. N., Schofield, C., & James, W. P. J. (1985). Basal metabolic rate – review and prediction, together with an annotated bibliography of source material. Human Nutrition Clinical Nutrition. 39C: 4-96.
  35. Short, S. H., & Short, W. R. (1983). Four-year study on university athletes’ dietary intake. J Am Diet Association., 82: 632-645.
  36. Van Erp-Baart, A. M. J., Saris, W. H., Binkhorst, R. A., Vos, J. A., & Elvers, J. W. (1989) Nationwide survey on nutritional habits in elite athletes. Part I. Energy, carbohydrate, protein, and fat intake. Int J Sports Med., 10: S3-S10.
  37. Williams, C. & Serratosa, L. (2006). Nutrition on match day. J Sports Sci., 24: 687-697.