Assessing the Energy Expenditure of Elite Female Soccer Players: A Preliminary Study

Mara JK, Thompson KG, Pumpa KL

Aim: This study aimed to assess the total and exercise energy expenditure of elite female soccer players during a training week.

Methods: Eight elite female soccer players wore SenseWear Mini Armbands (SWAs) for 7 consecutive days during the preseason phase of a national league competition. Additionally, players wore 15-Hz GPSports tracking devices during 4 training sessions and a friendly game. Total energy expenditure, exercise energy expenditure, and training and game demands were collected from the SWA and GPSports devices.

Results: Mean daily energy expenditure for game day, training days, and rest days were 12,242 kJ (SD = 603 kJ), 11,692 (SD = 274 kJ), and 9,516 (SD = 369 kJ), respectively, with significant differences shown between activities (p < 0.001, partial h2 = 0.357), as well as between individual days (p < 0.001, partial h2 = 0.517). Mean values for energy expenditure during the friendly game (mean = 2,695 kJ, SD = 301 kJ) and training sessions (mean = 2,538 kJ, SD = 316 kJ) were similar (p = 0.278, Cohen’s d = 0.5). However, significant differences were found between individual training sessions (p = 0.001–0.035). Total and exercise energy expenditure differed throughout the week in female soccer players. Conclusion: This preliminary study indicates that total and exercise energy expenditure varies throughout the week in female soccer players. Adjustments in nutritional intake should be made accordingly to avoid energy imbalances for optimal performance and recovery.

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