Scientific publications

Effects of Nutrition Interventions on Athletic Performance in Soccer Players: A Systematic Review

May 28, 2023 | Magazine: Life

Ines Aguinaga-Ontoso  1   2 , Sara Guillen-Aguinaga  1 , Laura Guillen-Aguinaga  3 , Rosa Alas-Brun  1 , Francisco Guillen-Grima  1   2   4

Background: More than 270 million participants and 128,893 professional players play soccer. Although UEFA recommendations for nutrition in elite football exist, implementing these guidelines among professional and semiprofessional soccer players remains suboptimal, emphasizing the need for targeted and individualized nutritional strategies to improve adherence to established recommendations.

Methods: We conducted a comprehensive search in PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and clinical trial registers. Inclusion criteria focused on professional or semiprofessional soccer players, nutrition or diet interventions, performance improvement outcomes, and randomized clinical trial study types. We assessed quality using the Risk of Bias 2 (RoB 2) tool. We identified 16 eligible articles involving 310 participants. No nutritional interventions during the recovery period effectively improved recovery. However, several performance-based interventions showed positive effects, such as tart cherry supplementation, raw pistachio nut kernels, bicarbonate and mineral ingestion, creatine supplementation, betaine consumption, symbiotic supplements, and a high-carbohydrate diet. These interventions influenced various aspects of soccer performance, including endurance, speed, agility, strength, power, explosiveness, and anaerobic capacity.

Conclusions: Specific strategies, such as solutions with bicarbonate and minerals, high carbohydrate diets, and supplements like creatine, betaine, and tart cherry, can enhance the performance of professional soccer players. These targeted nutritional interventions may help optimize performance and provide the competitive edge required in professional soccer. We did not find any dietary interventions that could enhance recovery.

CITATION  Life (Basel). 2023 May 28;13(6):1271.  doi: 10.3390/life13061271

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