Carbohydrates are essential for athletes during exercise. Recent studies suggest that soccer players may benefit from consuming carbohydrates to improve their performance.
The Relationship Between Carbohydrates and Soccer Performance
Soccer is a physically demanding sport that requires a combination of skills, including running, passing, shooting, dribbling, timing, and heading. Carbohydrate intake can improve running performance and cognitive processes, indirectly delaying fatigue and improving skill performance.
Studies on Carbohydrate Intake and Soccer Performance
Several studies have shown that carbohydrate ingestion can improve shooting, dribbling, and passing performance. Placebo ingestion during the later stages of a game results in a decline in skill performance. Although some studies have shown positive effects of carbohydrate ingestion, others have not. Nevertheless, there are no known negative effects of carbohydrate consumption.
Carbohydrate Intake in Soccer
Based on current research in endurance sports and limited studies on soccer, soccer players should consume carbohydrates just before the game and at halftime, with a target intake of 90 grams (45g before and 45g at halftime). However, more research is needed to determine the optimal amount of carbohydrate intake.
Carbohydrate intake can play a crucial role in soccer performance, particularly in skills performance, and can indirectly delay fatigue. Soccer players, especially at the highest level, should consume carbohydrates to improve their performance.
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