The Importance of Vitamins for Soccer Players

Eskici G.

INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL FOR VITAMIN AND NUTRITION RESEARCH, vol.85, pp.225-244, 2015 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Review
  • Volume: 85
  • Publication Date: 2015
  • Doi Number: 10.1024/0300-9831/a000245
  • Page Numbers: pp.225-244


Soccer is one of the most widely played and complex sports in the world, where success depends on technical, tactical and physical skills of the players. Studies to improve performance in soccer have often focused on technique and tactics. However, nutrition is one of the most important factors influencing athletic performance of the players. The duration of matches is long and the training is intense. This leads to increased requirements for energy and nutrients, as well as increased reactive oxygen radicals and hence increased muscle damage. Vitamins are micronutrients that a living organism requires in trace quantities for health. As these assume crucial functions in the body, the performance of the player is negatively affected particularly during long-term deficiency. Beta-carotene, C and E vitamins are antioxidants that protect against oxygen radicals. In case of their deficiency, oxidative stress and muscle fatigue increases. Vitamin D is involved in maintaining mineral balance, and it increases absorption of dietary calcium and phosphorus. In case of vitamin D deficiency, injuries resulting from the musculoskeletal system might increase. B Vitamins (B1, B2, niacin, B6, B12, biotin, folic acid and pantothenic acid) perform duties such as energy production, absorption and transport of iron and blood cell production. Athletes who follow an energy-restricted and imbalanced diet might develop vitamin deficiency. In such a case, supplements can be used as recommended by the doctor/dietician. It is further reported that supplement use by athletes who have an adequate and balanced nutrition does not increase performance.