A well-balanced diet is one of the main factors that may play a supportive role in enhancing acute training stimuli in optimal training adaptation. The aim of the present study was to examine the energy and macro- and micronutrient intake including and excluding supplements among top-level Polish football players during one week of the general preparatory period. In addition, the study looked at whether athletes consume carbohydrates in recommended amounts, depending on the completed training sessions. A total of 26 professional football players were included in the study. The preseason dietary intake was assessed using a 7-day estimated food record. The energy value of the diet and the amounts of the dietary ingredients were assessed using the software Dieta 6.0. The average consumption of energy, vitamin B2, vitamin C, vitamin E, folate, and calcium was lower than recommendations, and average intake of sodium and potassium was higher than the norm in the diets of the athletes. The results of this study do not confirm the justification for adding protein preparations to diets of the studied players. Furthermore, football players dietary carbohydrate intake was relatively low in comparison to requirements based on training loads. Based on our results we conclude that further work is necessary to reinforce education about nutritional habits and adjust nutritional strategies to individual needs to enhance athletic performance.
Keywords: diet; sports nutrition; team-based sport; athletes; periodized nutrition; soccer