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Title: An investigation into the nutritional habits of academy players at a single English Premier League club
Author: Naughton, R. J.
ISNI:       0000 0004 7228 1032
Awarding Body: Liverpool John Moores University
Current Institution: Liverpool John Moores University
Date of Award: 2018
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Within youth soccer high training and match loads warrant appropriate nutritional attention, although research assessing the nutritional intake and habits of youth soccer players is scarce. This thesis aimed to investigate habits and explore experiences of dietary intake methods in an English Premier League youth academy. Study one (Chapter 4) quantified the energy, macro and micronutrient intake of players from age groups under (U) 13 to U18 (7-day food diary, n = 59). Results showed players across all ages were in energy deficit, with low carbohydrate intake, and a large individual variability for micronutrient intake in comparison to current recommendations. However, under-reporting may have influenced these results. Study two (Chapter 5), a qualitative approach, explored nutritional habits (n = 15) with study one participants using one-on-one interviews. The U15 – U18s players consciously periodise their carbohydrate intake throughout the week; U18s stated this was to aid body composition. When discussing their participation in the previous food diary study, U18s expressed that a quicker, more user-friendly method would be desirable. The third study (Chapter 6), therefore, assessed the use of smartphone technology to record dietary intake. Fulltime youth soccer players (n = 22) recorded their dietary intake on a single training day, using a smartphone application and a photography method respectively compared to 24-hr recall. The 24-hr recall provided significantly higher energy and macronutrient intake in comparison to the smartphone methods. This data suggests smartphone technology was more effective in tandem with 24-hr recall. To conclude, youth soccer players are in dietary energy and carbohydrate deficit, with variable micronutrient intake when compared to current recommendations and traditional 24-hr recall is recommend if using smartphone technology. Further research for the accurate quantification of dietary intake and energy demands is required. Dietary advice provision for youth soccer to reach current nutritional recommendations is warranted.
Supervisor: Davies, I. ; Abayomi, J. ; Mahon, E. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: TX341 Nutrition. Foods and food supply ; RC1200 Sports Medicine