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  • Ritchie Semple

Energy Demands of Training

Updated: Oct 23, 2019

The energy demands of training will vary depending on the intensity, frequency and duration of the training sessions, but they will also change over the course of the season. Most players will follow a weekly cycle that involves a reduced training load to allow recovery from the previous game, days of harder training, and a reduction in training load in preparation for the next game. In pre-season, the training load is usually at its greatest as players strive to reach full fitness for the opening games of the season. Energy demands in a training session focussed on fitness may reach those of a hard game. In sessions where the emphasis is on recovery and regeneration or on skill, the energy cost will be much less.

The foods we eat and the fluids we drink provide for the immediate energy needs of the body as well as influencing body energy stores. Energy stores play a number of important roles related to exercise performance, since they contribute to;

• size and physique (e.g. body fat and muscle mass)

• function (e.g. muscle mass)

• fuel for exercise (e.g. muscle and liver carbohydrate)

The energy needed for training and match play must be added to the energy required for normal daily activities. As outlined above, the energy demands of training will depend on the intensity and duration of the training session. These will vary across the season and at different levels of competition. How much food a player needs will depend largely on energy needs, and there is no simple formula to predict this. Energy needs depend not only on the demands of training and match play, but also on activities outside the game. For those who train infrequently, or where training sessions are short or easy, the energy demands will not be high. Similarly, energy needs are lower during periods of inactivity such as the off-season or while a player is injured, and players should adapt their food intake accordingly.


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