Influence of carbohydrate supplementation on skill performance during a soccer match simulation

Mark Russell, David Benton, Michael Kingsley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Citations (Scopus)


Objectives: This study investigated the influence of carbohydrate supplementation on skill performance throughout exercise that replicates soccer match-play. Design: Experimentation was conducted in a randomised, double-blind and cross-over study design. Methods: After familiarization, 15 professional academy soccer players completed a soccer match simulation incorporating passing, dribbling and shooting on two separate occasions. Participants received a 6% carbohydrate–electrolyte solution (CHO) or electrolyte solution (PL). Precision, success rate, ball speed and an overall index (speed-precision-success; SPS) were determined for all skills. Blood samples were taken at rest, immediately before exercise, every 15min during exercise (first half: 15, 30 and 45min; second half: 60, 75 and 90min), and 10min into the half time (half-time). Results: Carbohydrate supplementation influenced shooting (time × treatment interaction: p < 0.05), where CHO attenuated the decline in shot speed and SPS index. Supplementation did not affect passing or dribbling. Blood glucose responses to exercise were influenced by supplementation (time × treatment interaction: p < 0.05), where concentrations were higher at 45 min and during half-time in CHO compared with PL. Blood glucose concentrations reduced by 30 ± 1% between half-time and 60 min in CHO. Conclusions: Carbohydrate supplementation attenuated decrements in shooting performance during simulated soccer match-play; however, further research is warranted to optimise carbohydrate supplementation regimes for high-intensity intermittent sports.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)348-354
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Science and Medicine in Sport
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • supplementation
  • football
  • shooting
  • rebound hypoglycaemia


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