Nutrition is an undeniable part of promoting health and performance among football (soccer) players. Nevertheless, nutritional strategies adopted in elite football can vary significantly depending on culture, habit and practical constraints and might not always be supported by scientific evidence. Therefore, a group of 28 Portuguese experts on sports nutrition, sports science and sports medicine sought to discuss current practices in the elite football landscape and review the existing evidence on nutritional strategies to be applied when supporting football players. Starting from understanding football’s physical and physiological demands, five different moments were identified: preparing to play, match-day, recovery after matches, between matches and during injury or rehabilitation periods. When applicable, specificities of nutritional support to young athletes and female players were also addressed. The result is a set of practical recommendations that gathered consensus among involved experts, highlighting carbohydrates periodisation, hydration and conscious use of dietary supplements.
- elite performance
- sports and nutrition
Data availability statement
Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated and/or analysed for this study. No data are available. Not applicable.
This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.
Statistics from Altmetric.com
If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.
Contributors The main steering committee consisted of RA, PF and JB. RA and an external medical writer compiled all authors inputs during the experts meeting and conference. RA wrote the original draft. All authors contributed to the full manuscript, providing editing suggestions and comments. JB, PF, JPM, CS, MS, PC and VHT reviewed the manuscript. All authors approved the final version of the manuscript.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Disclaimer All mentioned affiliations refer to the date of the consensus meeting that originated this manuscript.
Competing interests RA has received consulting fees Danone Portugal, The Coca-Cola Company Iberia and Glanbia Performance Nutrition Iberia. He did not receive any form of financial support directly related to this manuscript. RA, PF, PB, JPM and JB work in the Health and Performance Unit from the Portuguese Football Federation.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.