DEFINING BEST-PRACTICE NUTRITION RECOMMENDATIONS IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL: THE UEFA EXPERT GROUP STATEMENT

Defining best

FEATURE / JAMES COLLINS AND ALAN MCCALL

The role and impact of nutrition on the health and performance of professional footballers is becoming more prominent within the game. Despite growing popularity and influx of research focused on football nutrition, there have been no clear guidelines for over a decade that can help practitioners make decisions that are evidence-led and practically driven. The last time the football nutrition research was collated, and recommendations given was by FIFA in 2006 (FIFA Consensus), obviously a lot has changed since then, not only in the nutrition landscape but also in the game of football itself. The physical and technical demands of the game have increased in recent years (Bush et al., 2015; Barnes et al., 2014), as well as the financial implication of winning and losing. This impacted many aspects in the sport such as training regimens, travel demands, and cultural diversity. The cultural identity has evolved with an increase in player migration moving between different countries and continents.

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