Case Study: Assessment of Energy Expenditure of a Professional Goalkeeper From the English Premier League Using the Doubly Labeled Water Method

Anderson, L., Close, G.M., Morgans, R., Hambly, C., Speakman, J.R., Drust, B., Morton, J.P.

Purpose: The aim of this study was to enhance understanding of the energy and carbohydrate (CHO) needs of a professional goalkeeper (GK) in elite soccer by analyzing physical loading, energy expenditure (EE), and energy intake (EI) during a two-game-per-week in-season micro-cycle.

Methods: Daily training and match loads were evaluated in a professional GK (age: 26 years; height: 191 cm; body mass: 86.1 kg) from the English Premier League using global positioning systems (GPS) and ProZone®, respectively. EE was assessed using the doubly labeled water method, while EI was determined through food diaries supported by the remote food photographic method and 24-hour recalls.

Results: Physical loading was higher on match days (MD) compared to training days (TD), as indicated by total distance (4574 ± 432 vs. 1959 ± 500 m), average speed (48 ± 5 vs. 40 ± 4 m/min), and distance covered during jogging (993 ± 194 vs. 645 ± 81 m) and running (138 ± 16 vs. 21 ± 20 m). Average daily energy and macronutrient intake suggested a self-selected “low CHO” diet (Energy: 3160 ± 381 kcal, CHO: 2.6 ± 0.6 g/kg body mass; Protein: 2.4 ± 0.4 g/kg body mass; Fat: 1.9 ± 0.3 g/kg body mass). The mean daily EE was 2894 kcal.

Conclusions: The average daily EE of this professional GK was approximately 600 kcal/day lower than that previously reported in outfield players from the same team. These findings underscore the importance of considering the nutritional requirements of a GK based on the required daily and weekly loading patterns.

View this research