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J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2017 Sep 12;14:35. doi: 10.1186/s12970-017-0193-8. eCollection 2017.

Practical nutritional recovery strategies for elite soccer players when limited time separates repeated matches.

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Sheffield Hallam University, Academy of Sport & Physical Activity, A220 Collegiate Hall, Collegiate Crescent Campus, Sheffield, S102BP UK.
Stoke City Football Club, bet365 Stadium, Stanley Matthews Way, Stoke-on-Trent, ST4 4EG UK.
School of Social and Health Sciences, Leeds Trinity University, Horsforth, Leeds, LS18 5HD UK.


Specific guidelines that aim to facilitate the recovery of soccer players from the demands of training and a congested fixture schedule are lacking; especially in relation to evidence-based nutritional recommendations. The importance of repeated high level performance and injury avoidance while addressing the challenges of fixture scheduling, travel to away venues, and training commitments requires a strategic and practically feasible method of implementing specific nutritional strategies. Here we present evidence-based guidelines regarding nutritional recovery strategies within the context of soccer. An emphasis is placed on providing practically applicable guidelines for facilitation of recovery when multiple matches are played within a short period of time (i.e. 48 h). Following match-play, the restoration of liver and muscle glycogen stores (via consumption of ~1.2 g⋅kg-1⋅h-1 of carbohydrate) and augmentation of protein synthesis (via ~40 g of protein) should be prioritised in the first 20 min of recovery. Daily intakes of 6-10 g⋅kg-1 body mass of carbohydrate are recommended when limited time separates repeated matches while daily protein intakes of >1.5 g⋅kg-1 body mass should be targeted; possibly in the form of multiple smaller feedings (e.g., 6 × 20-40 g). At least 150% of the body mass lost during exercise should be consumed within 1 h and electrolytes added such that fluid losses are ameliorated. Strategic use of protein, leucine, creatine, polyphenols and omega-3 supplements could also offer practical means of enhancing post-match recovery.


Congestion; Creatine; Fixture; Nutrition; Omega-3; Polyphenols; Recovery; Soccer

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