Dietary Analysis of Two Football Teams Playing at Different Competition Levels
University of Wales Institute Cardiff
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Increased scientific knowledge in recent times has seen football clubs focus upon ensuring their players achieve high quality nutritional intake to increase sporting performance. Most professional clubs employ accredited nutritional professionals to provide evidence-based advice to the players to achieve maximum performance. However, amateur and semi – professional players do not have the luxury of regular advice from accredited nutritional professionals. A 3-day estimated food diary was used to assess the participants’ habitual dietary intake and a 3-day physical activity diary was used to assess the participants’ energy expenditure. The results indicate that the participants’ competing at amateur and semi – professional levels are consuming relatively similar nutritional intakes. Both amateur and semi - professionals consumed a mean average of 2525Kcals, which fell substantially short of their required energy expenditure (3335Kcals/day). Both amateur (44.0%) and semi – professionals (46.4%) consumed less than the recommended energy contribution for carbohydrate, whilst both amateur (18.3%) and semi – professionals (18.3%) consumed above the recommended energy contribution for protein as well as total fat (amateur - 37.3%, semi professional - 35.0%). Alcohol consumption for both participants was lower than the recommended energy contribution of 5%. These results indicate that that if footballers have a poor nutritional understanding then their sporting performance capacity reduces accordingly. The purpose of this study was to get a better understanding of the habitual dietary intakes of footballers playing at non – elite standard. Nutritional education enhancing non – elite footballers’ knowledge may help boost their sporting performance.
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