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Portuguese Football Federation consensus statement 2020: nutrition and performance in football
  1. Rodrigo Abreu1,2,
  2. Pedro Figueiredo1,3,
  3. Paulo Beckert1,
  4. José P Marques1,
  5. Samuel Amorim4,
  6. Carlos Caetano5,
  7. Pedro Carvalho6,
  8. Carla Sá7,8,
  9. Ricardo Cotovio9,
  10. Joana Cruz10,
  11. Tiago Dias11,
  12. Gonçalo Fernandes5,
  13. Elton Gonçalves12,
  14. César Leão13,14,
  15. Alexandre Leitão15,
  16. João Lopes16,
  17. Eduardo Machado17,
  18. Mónica Neves18,19,
  19. André Oliveira20,
  20. Ana I Pereira21,
  21. Bruno Pereira22,
  22. Fernando Ribeiro2,23,
  23. Luis M Silva24,
  24. Filipe Sousa25,26,
  25. Tânia Tinoco27,
  26. Vitor H Teixeira2,28,
  27. Monica Sousa29,30,
  28. João Brito1
  1. 1Portugal Football School, Portuguese Football Federation, Cruz Quebrada, Portugal
  2. 2Universidade do Porto Faculdade de Ciências da Nutrição e Alimentação, Porto, Portugal
  3. 3Research Center in Sports Sciences, Health Sciences and Human Development, CIDESD, University Institute of Maia, ISMAI, Maia, Portugal
  4. 4Sporting Clube de Braga, Braga, Portugal
  5. 5Sport Lisboa e Benfica Futebol SAD, Lisboa, Portugal
  6. 6Universidade Catolica Portuguesa Escola Superior de Biotecnologia, Porto, Portugal
  7. 7ISMAI, Castelo da Maia, Porto, Portugal
  8. 8Polytechnic Institute of Bragança, Braganca, Portugal
  9. 9Belenenses SAD, Lisboa, Portugal
  10. 10Portimonense Futebol SAD, Portimao, Portugal
  11. 11Clube Desportivo Santa Clara, Ponta Delgada, Portugal
  12. 12Rio Ave Futebol Clube, Vila do Conde, Portugal
  13. 13Instituto Politecnico de Viana do Castelo Escola Superior de Desporto e Lazer, Melgaco, Viana do Castelo, Portugal
  14. 14FC Paços de Ferreira, Paços de Ferreira, Portugal
  15. 15Sports Club of Tondela, Tondela, Portugal
  16. 16Sporting Clube de Portugal, SAD, Lisboa, Portugal
  17. 17Varzim Sport Club, Povoa de Varzim, Portugal
  18. 18Vitória Futebol Clube, Setúbal, Portugal
  19. 19Universidade do Algarve, Faro, Portugal
  20. 20Futebol Clube de Famalicão, Famalicão, Portugal
  21. 21Gil Vicente Football Club, Barcelos, Portugal
  22. 22Sports Medicine Control Training Unit, Instituto Portugues do Desporto e Juventude, Lisboa, Portugal
  23. 23Moreirense FC, Moreira, Portugal
  24. 24Centro de Medicina Desportiva do Porto, Porto, Portugal
  25. 25Futebol Clube de Vizela, Vizela, Portugal
  26. 26Futbolniy Klub Shakhtar, Shakhtar, Ukraine
  27. 27Vitória Sport Club, Guimarães, Portugal
  28. 28Futebol Clube do Porto SAD, Porto, Portugal
  29. 29Nutrition and Metabolism, Universidade Nova de Lisboa Faculdade de Ciências Médicas de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal
  30. 30NOVA Medical School, CINTESIS, Porto, Portugal
  1. Correspondence to Rodrigo Abreu; rodrigo.abreu{at}


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.

  • soccer
  • consensus
  • 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.

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Data availability statement

Data sharing not applicable as no data sets generated and/or analysed for this study. No data are available. Not applicable.

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  • 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.