UEFA declares ‘proper nutrition’ vital for footballers

The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) declares ‘proper nutrition’ to be at the root of optimal performance among football players and launches a definitive guide on how nutrition can improve players’ health.

Presented at a medical symposium held in Athens at the end of January, the 2018 UEFA Football Nutrition Consensus is a new initiative providing advice to footballers from 23 world-leading experts and practitioners. The initiative addresses common health and performance-related issues faced by professional footballers everyday including ‘fuelling, recovery and adaptation’ after training and matches.

Nutrition strategies need to evolve to fuel players to meet these demands

The consensus covers what the experts deem as the proper intake, quantity, type and timing of foods and fluids consumed, as well as the ‘safe use of evidence-based supplementation’; news which is likely to be heard with interest by the VMS industry.

In an article published under the medical news section of its website, UEFA says the existing advice for footballers was due an update in order to reflect the growth in our understanding of football-specific nutrition: “Unfortunately, there are no clear, comprehensive and up-to-date guidelines for football teams to follow when it comes to supporting their players through good nutritional choices. In fact, the last official football nutrition consensus was published in 2006, and over a decade on there has been a huge growth in nutrition research that is applicable to football. With concurrent evolutions in the physiological demands during football matches and training sessions, it is integral that nutrition strategies also need to evolve to fuel players to meet these demands. This created a clear need for an updated consensus to establish best practice guidelines and improve player care.”