Energy requirements of male academy soccer players from the English Premier League

Marcus P. Hannon, Lloyd J. F. Parker, Daniel J. Carney, John McKeown, John R. Speakman, Catherine Hambly, Viswanath B. Unnithan, Barry Drust, Graeme L. Close, James P. Morton

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PurposeTo inform the energy requirements of highly trained adolescent soccer players, total energy expenditure (TEE) was quantified in academy soccer players from the English Premier League (EPL). 
MethodsTwenty-four male adolescent soccer players from an EPL academy (n=8 U12/13; n=8 U15; n=8 U18) were assessed for baseline maturity (maturity offset), body composition (DXA) and resting metabolic rate (RMR; indirect calorimetry). Subsequently, TEE, energy intake (EI) and physical loading patterns were assessed over a 14-day in-season period using doubly labelled water, the remote food photographic method and global positioning system technology, respectively.
ResultsUnder-18 players presented with greater RMR (2236 ± 93 kcalday-1) and TEE (3586 ± 487 kcalday-1; range: 2542-5172 kcalday-1) than both U15 (2023 ± 162 and 3029 ± 262 kcalday-1, respectively; TEE range: 2738-3726 kcalday-1) and U12/13 players (1892 ± 211 and 2859 ± 265 kcalday-1, respectively; TEE range: 2275-3903 kcalday-1) (all P<0.01), though no difference in TEE was apparent between the U12/13 and U15 age-groups. Fat-free mass was significantly different between all comparisons in a hierarchal manner (U18: 57.2 ± 6.1 kg > U15: 42.9 ± 5.8 kg > U12/13: 31.1 ± 3.5 kg; all P<0.01). Within age-groups, no differences were apparent between EI and TEE (U12/13: -29 ± 277 kcalday-1, P=0.78; U15: -134 ± 327 kcalday-1, P=0.28; U18: -243±724 kcalday-1, P=0.37), whilst U18 players (3180 ± 279 kcalday-1) reported higher EI than both U15 (2821 ± 338 kcalday-1; P=0.05) and U12/13 players (2659 ± 187 kcalday-1; P<0.01). 
ConclusionThe TEE of male academy soccer players progressively increase as players progress through the academy age-groups. In some individuals (evident in all age-groups), TEE was greater than that previously observed in adult EPL soccer players.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)200-210
Number of pages11
JournalMedicine & Science in Sports & Exercise
Issue number1
Early online date21 Jul 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 21 Jul 2020


  • entry requirements
  • male soccer players
  • English Premier League
  • football


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