Energy Requirements and Nutritional Strategies for Male Soccer Players: A Review and Suggestions for Practice

Andrew T. Hulton, James J. Malone, Neil D. Clarke, Don P.M. Maclaren

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)
    138 Downloads (Pure)


    Soccer is a high intensity intermittent sport, featuring critical events completed at high/maximal intensity which is superimposed onto an aerobic base of lower intensity activities and rest. Due to these varying energic demands and the duration of competition the need for optimal nutritional strategies to offset and delay fatigue are paramount. Over the last 50 years, several investigations have been reported on aspects of soccer be they nutrition-focused or those concerning the demands of the sport. Emanating from these scientific papers, observations have been made on the likely factors which result in the fatigue during match-play. Factors such as muscle glycogen depletion and hypoglycaemia are discussed. Studies on the energy demands of soccer have employed a variety of methodologies which are briefly reviewed and vary between the use of heart rate telemetry to the use of global positioning systems (GPS). Moving on from observations of the energy demands of the sport leads to the major focus of this review which highlights key nutritional strategies to support the preparation and recovery of male soccer players to enhance performance, or at least to enable players to perform adequately. This review examines relevant methodologies in assessing training and competitive energy costs as well as the concomitant energy intakes demanded for successful performance outcomes. In order to bring an applied aspect to the overall findings from areas discussed, some practical ideas of feeding strategies are presented.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number657
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 4 Feb 2022

    Bibliographical note

    Copyright: © 2022 by the authors.
    Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.
    This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and
    conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license


    • Carbohydrate
    • Energy expenditure
    • Energy intake
    • Hydration
    • Match day nutrition
    • Protein
    • Soccer

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Food Science
    • Nutrition and Dietetics


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