Changes in markers of body composition of professional male soccer players during pre-season
Gómez Díaz, Antonio
Dello Iacon, Antonio
MetadataShow full item record
McEwan, G.P., Drobnic, F., Lizarraga, A., Gómez Díaz, A., Pons, E., Dello Iacon, A. and Unnithan, V. (2020) 'Changes in markers of body composition of professional male soccer players during pre-season', Sports Medicine and Health Science, 2(3), pp. 166-171.
To evaluate changes achieved in whole-body and regional (upper limbs, lower limbs, and trunk) estimates of body composition, twenty professional male soccer players (7 defenders, 7 midfielders, 6 forwards) underwent dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) analysis at the beginning and end of pre-season. Measures included: mass, fat mass (FM), fat-free mass (FFM), and body fat per cent (BF%). Players’ activity during on-field training sessions was monitored using Global Positioning System (GPS) units, with GPS data used to obtain estimations of energy expenditure (EE). Whole-body mass remained unchanged across the pre-season. Moderate significant increases and decreases were achieved in whole-body FFM (Pre: 59.58 ± 5.27 kg; Post: 60.61 ± 5.18 kg; p = 0.001; d = 0.87) and FM (Pre: 10.60 ± 1.88 kg; Post: 9.56 ± 1.81 kg; p = 0.001; d = 0.85), respectively. Moderate significant decreases were achieved in whole-body BF% (Pre: 14.4 ± 2.3%; Post: 12.9 ± 2.0%; p < 0.001; d = 0.94). No significant inter-positional differences were observed for the changes achieved in any global or regional estimate of body composition. Total EE was significantly correlated with ΔFM (r = 0.65, p = 0.002), ΔFFM (r = 0.46, p = 0.03), and ΔBF% (r = 0.67, p = 0.002). The total EE of pre-season training accounted for 42%, 21%, and 45% of the variance in ΔFM, ΔFFM, and ΔBF%, respectively. These findings suggest that the pre-season period is a suitable time for initiating favourable alterations in body composition following the off-season in elite soccer players.