The effects of an increased calorie breakfast consumed prior to simulated match-play in Academy soccer players

Dietary analysis of Academy soccer players highlights that total energy and carbohydrate intakes are less than optimal, especially, on match-days. As UK Academy matches predominantly kick-off at ~11:00 h, breakfast is likely the last pre-exercise meal and thus may provide an intervention opportunity on match-day. Accordingly, the physiological and performance effects of an increased calorie breakfast consumed ~135-min before soccer-specific exercise was investigated. English Premier League Academy soccer players (n = 7) repeated a 90-min soccer match simulation on two occasions after consumption of habitual (Bhab; ~1100 kJ) or increased (Binc; ~2100 kJ) energy breakfasts standardised for macronutrient contributions (~60% carbohydrates, ~15% proteins and ~25% fats). Countermovement jump height, sprint velocities (15-m and 30-m), 30-m repeated sprint maintenance, gut fullness, abdominal discomfort and soccer dribbling performances were measured. Blood samples were taken at rest, pre-exercise, half-time and every 15-min during exercise. Although dribbling precision (P = .522; 29.9 ± 5.5 cm) and success (P = .505; 94 ± 8%) were unchanged throughout all time-points, mean dribbling speed was faster (4.3 ± 5.7%) in Binc relative to Bhab (P = .023; 2.84 vs 2.75 m s-1). Greater feelings of gut fullness (67 ± 17%, P = .001) were observed in Binc without changes in abdominal discomfort (P = .595). All other physical performance measures and blood lactate and glucose concentrations were comparable between trials (all P > .05). Findings demonstrate that Academy soccer players were able to increase pre-match energy intake without experiencing abdominal discomfort; thus, likely contributing to the amelioration of energy deficits on match-days. Furthermore, whilst Binc produced limited benefits to physical performance, increased dribbling speed was identified, which may be of benefit to match-play.
© Copyright 2017 European Journal of Sport Science. Taylor & Francis. All rights reserved.

Subjects: nutrition energy metobolism soccer junior elite sport youth competition movement precision performance blood lactate carbohydrate
Notations: biological and medical sciences sport games junior sports
DOI: 10.1080/17461391.2017.1301560
Published in: European Journal of Sport Science
Published: 2017
Volume: 17
Issue: 7
Pages: 858-866
Document types: article
Language: English
Level: advanced