Correct nutrition, together with training, is the factor that ensures growth and development, as well as optimum performance, in the adolescent sportsperson.
The PhD by Fátima Ruiz Litago, lecturer in the Physiology Department at the University of the Basque Country, entitled, "Nutritional study amongst football players: implications for oxidative stress and muscle tear". However, according to the study, even young sportspersons do not have good eating habits.
The research was undertaken with 60 footballers between 14 and 21 and from a number of different categories at Arenas Club de Getxo (FC). Their diet was analysed, evaluating excesses and lacunas – as laid down in the Recommended Daily Consumption (RDC) and. Moreover, on a sample group thereof, and these analytical data correlated with those of diet.
The results obtained reveal that, in general, the eating habits amongst these sportspersons were unsuitable given that, on the one hand, there is an insufficient ingestion of carbohydrates and, on the other, there is a low ingestion of nutrients that have a role that is protective against muscle tear, such as polyunsaturated fatty acids, vitamin A, folic acid, vitamin E and manganese. These deficiencies are due to the fact that little fruit and fresh vegetables are eaten and too much bakery products. Moreover, it is significant that, when they eat in school canteens, they have good nutrition but, on growing up and abandoning the school meals, their diet deteriorates. At dinner, normally eaten at home, the diet deteriorates in all cases.
Muscle tear after playing football, moreover, can be relatively serious and chronic. This could be due to the fact that a series of matches and training sessions prevents he total repair of the injured tissue. The results of the research suggest that nutrition could be related to a longer-term protection, given that the greater the deficit in certain vitamins and minerals, the greater the muscle tear.