Individualized Breakfast Programs or Glycogen Super-Compensation: Which Is the Better Performing Strategy? Insights from an Italian Soccer Referees Cohort

Rebecca Regnoli, Marco Rovelli, Vincenzo Gianturco, Fabrizio Ernesto Pregliasco, Bruno Dino Bodini, Luigi Gianturco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The role of soccer referees has grown in importance in the last decades, as has attention to their performance, which may be influenced and improved with specific and evolved training programs. Today, multiple specialists are working as a team in order to develop effective training programs. Moreover, for athletes, it is becoming more and more important to be attentive to nutrition. By considering such items, in this study, we aimed to investigate the nutritional habits of a group of referees belonging to the Italian Soccer Referees' Association (on behalf of AIA-FIGC). Our main aim was to spread a "culture of nutrition" in refereeing, starting with a survey on referees' breakfast attitudes and in order to disseminate such a "culture", we chose top-level elite referees who were younger subjects (despite the average 4 years' experience). Therefore, we enrolled 31 subjects (aged 22.74 ± 1.79, BMI 22.30 ± 1.53) and asked them about their breakfast habits. Then, for measuring their performance, we used the conventional fitness test named Yo-Yo (YYiR1), performed in three different sessions (test 1, test 2, test 3). Test 1 was carried out without any nutritional indications, test 2 was given after individualized breakfast suggestions by a designed dietician, and test 3 after an individualized glycogen super-compensation strategy. The Wilcoxon statistical analysis indicates that following an individualized breakfast strategy may enhance referees' performance (p < 0.0001), whereas no significant effects were observed with the glycogen super-compensation option. However, further studies will be necessary to better address this topic and clarify whether high-carbohydrates (high-CHO) intake may be useful in other sports.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInt J Environ Res Public Health
Volume17
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 5 2020
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Athletes
  • Athletic Performance/physiology
  • Breakfast/physiology
  • Cohort Studies
  • Glycogen/physiology
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Nutritional Status
  • Soccer/physiology

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