Exploring the Impact of Dietary Factors on Body Composition in Elite Saudi Soccer Players: A Focus on Added Sugars, Salt, and Oil Consumption

Adam Amawi, Ghareeb Alshuwaier, Abdulrahman Alaqil, Walaa Jumah Alkasasbeh*, Abdulmalek Bursais, Anwar Al-Nuaim, Jawaher Alhaji, Mohamed Alibrahim, Faisal Alosaimi, Lana Nemer, Yuba Gautam, Naif Al-Barha, Jumana Shehadeh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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Soccer elite players' nutrition is crucial to optimizing their performance and improving body composition. Currently, less is known about the correlation between added sugars, salt, and oil intake and body composition. The aim of this current study was to evaluate the impact of increased consumption of sugars, salt, and oil on the body mass index (BMI) and fat percentage of elite soccer players hailing from Saudi Arabia. A cross-sectional, self-administered Saudi Food Frequency Questionnaire (FFQ) was collected from 81 young Saudi elite soccer athletes aged between 18 and 25 years, with a mean age of 19 years, to assess participants’ food intake. Body fat percentage was determined through the measurement of skinfold thickness, while the BMI was computed for all participants, resulting in an average value of 22 kg/m2. Our results showed that the total score indexes of sugar, salt, and oil intake were [0-4], [0-10], and [0-63], respectively. An evident and statistically significant correlation (P = 0.003) was noted between the sugar index and the BMI of the athletes, exhibiting an R-squared coefficient of 0.106. Moreover, a positive and significant relationship (P = 0.033) was found between salt intake and fat mass, with an R-squared value of 0.056. Our results suggest that elite soccer athletes should avoid overconsumption of added sugar, salt, and oil in order to improve body composition and enhance performance.

Original languageEnglish
JournalInternational Journal of Human Movement and Sports Sciences
Issue number6
Pages (from-to)1305-1312
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023
Externally publishedYes


  • Body Composition
  • Elite
  • Fat Percentage
  • Oil
  • Salt
  • Soccer
  • Sugars


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