The UEFA expert group statement on nutrition in elite football has been published. It involved significant effort from an international group of 31 contributors over the 3-year process, to build optimal sport nutrition recommendations for football (soccer).
The project was initiated by Intra Performance Group's CEO and founder, James Collins and Dr Alan McCall, in partnership with UEFA and the UEFA medical committee. This research paper represents a vital first step in elite football, bringing the best scientific and on-field practitioners from around the world to add much-needed continuity to recommendations for players and teams.
Tim Meyer, UEFA Medical Committee chairman emphasised:
“UEFA’s Expert Group statement will help practitioners to make better decisions in their own practice about how to tailor nutritional interventions to individual players and training plans, taking account of possible health challenges and other requirements.”
James Collins and Alan McCall, project leaders add:
“As we approach a new season, the proceeds of this UEFA Expert Statement on Nutrition in Football will help to underpin the practical use of nutrition in clubs and federations around the world, as well as providing direction on future research in elite football nutrition.”
The major recommendations from the paper, consider the diversity of the global football community, including both male and female players, outfield players and goalkeepers, as well as match officials. The paper covers a range of topics important in elite football nutrition including:
Match day nutrition
Training day nutrition
Stressful environments and travel
Cultural diversity and dietary considerations
Junior high-level players
In addition to including a large number of medical and scientific experts, the panel has also involved other stakeholders from within the game including high profile coach and current FIFA Chief of Global Football Development Arsène Wenger.
Arsène Wenger, states the importance of nutrition in football:
This Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Expert Group Statement on nutrition represents a vital first step, bringing together the best scientific and on-field practitioners from around the world to add much-needed continuity to recommendations for players and teams. The continued development of good nutritional practises within the game will, of course, also have an impact far beyond clubs’ training grounds, helping to promote good health across society as a whole.
Access the paper
The highly significant publication is a great resource for all practitioners working in elite football. The paper is free to access in the British Journal of Sports Medicine.
The scientific article is accompanied by an executive summary and additionally a series of practical application info graphics (courtesy of AS Monaco sport scientist Dr Yann Le Meurr).
image: Juventus players Blaise Matuidi, Joao Cancelo and Gianluigi Buffon joke during a lunch in 2019. Juventus FC via Getty Images