CHAPTER ONE (1)
The game of football of which Americans call soccer, has engulfed the world serving as a means of entertainment for its audiences, profession for those who play the game, business for those who invest in it and finally as a unifying tool for peacemakers. All these have been as a result of the growth of football in these past years. The game of football has grown faster than any other sport in history, doubling in its number of viewers every two to three years (FIFA/F-MARC, 2006). The growing importance and popularity given to football as a sport has resulted in enormous researches to determine dietary intakes relevant for individuals undertaking such sport and nutritional influences on soccer performance (Kirkendall et al, 1993). Notwithstanding , the level of seriousness given to the dietary intakes of players and nutritional influences of foods taken, is lower in developing countries than in the developed ones although some aspects of football development has been launched in some of these developing countries. Besides this, a developing country may be rated amongst the third world countries of the world, the Republic of Ghana has found itself swooped along with this pandemic that is virtually ruling the world today. In this case we can cite the case of Egypt, that in the last years have shown a very high growth in football achievements, and the case of Ghana, that has already reached a good level of development of the game with respect to achieving laurels. In the last two decades, this sport has gained tremendous attention by sports scientists (Chryssanthopoulos et al, 2009). The net performance of a football player is as a result of the combination of talent, appropriate training and good nutrition. The latter of which has an effect on the preceding two (talent and appropriate training) has being the aspect neglected by clubs and even players in particular. The dietary pattern and food habits of football players determines their nutritional status, as in eating more, less or just as recommended, eating appropriate or junk foods and as to whether nutrients consumed from food fill gaps created by mechanisms resulting in energy expenditure. The game is characterized by periods of low to moderate aerobic exercise interrupted by frequent activities of short duration and high intensity, such as sprinting, jumping, and tackling. It is obvious that such an energy-demanding sport requires proper dietary programmes that will restore or even super-compensate body energy stores and enhance the activity pattern of players during training and competition (Martin et al, 2006). The energy needs for an individual varies according to their age, sex and the physical activities they perform during the day. Healthy male individuals present an average energy demand of 2900 kcal·day-1 (National Research Council, 1996); however, a professional soccer player's energy demand oscillates from 3500 to 4300 kcal/day (Clark, 1994; Bangsbo et al., 2006; Ebine et al., 2002; Rico-Sanz, 1998). It should be acknowledged that these values for soccer players vary, and energy needs are met if the dietary pattern and food habits of a player provides the recommended requirements coupled with the appropriate physical activity as energy expenditure depends on the frequency and intensity of training sessions, exercises and matches which can affect the nutritional status of an individual (Clark et al, 2003). 1.2
Many researchers have studied the dietary habits of soccer players in an attempt to examine whether the reported diets fulfill dietary recommendations. The vast majority of these studies have examined players at especially Europe and a few times at the southern Americas. A large number of players, however, compete at the African region which is usually a pool from which foreign professional clubs in places like France, England, Italy and Germany choose their members to form...
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