It’s hard to know what to trust on the internet these days.
Health and wellness trends flood our newsfeed. Conflicting advice clouds our judgement. How do we know what’s legit?
The best way to stay informed is by listening to the professionals who are up-to-date with the latest research and/or perform their own.
Some of the best resources involve raw research, which we (Integrative Soccer) draw from regularly.
Research articles aren’t exactly a casual read, but as a parent or athlete, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to practice reading scientific literature. It empowers you form your own ideas, challenge what’s out there, and set high standards for you or your athlete.
As always, be sure to consult a healthcare professional before making major changes to any nutrition, medication, or general wellness plan. This includes supplementation.
Here’s our (evolving) list of trusted leaders in athlete wellness space who develop research, challenge fads, and/or educate the public with high-quality advice.
Check in periodically to see if any resources have been added.
Athlete Health, Wellness, and Performance Resources
Gatorade Sports Science Institute (GSSI)
GSSI regularly publishes new research regarding athlete health, performance, recovery, and nutrition. They have an extensive library of research, including an entire section dedicated to sport-specific studies.
Not all studies in GSSI are open access, which means many require payment to read in full. However, like most restricted access articles, they do offer the abstract (like an article summary) for free.
Recognize to Recover
The US Soccer Federation developed Recognize to Recover as an all-encompassing resource for parents and players of all ages.
You can get information regarding injury prevention and:
- Concussions, head, & brain injury
- Cardiac conditions
- Respiratory conditions
- Nutrition and hydration
- Soccer for athletes with a disability
Not only does this page offer health and performance research for soccer players, it also offers resources to navigate mental health.
Check out their extensive guide to identifying, addressing, and normalizing discussion around common mental health concerns among soccer players.
The NCAA has published research and resources for athletes, coaches, and parents regarding athlete health and performance.
The NCAA has a small-but-targeted database of research regarding student-athlete wellbeing. They are actively performing new studies in collegiate athletes to determine gaps in physical and mental wellness.
These studies can be extremely useful for aspiring collegiate athletes as they prepare for what’s to come.
They also have a section devoted to identifying and fighting sexual assault and violence on campus. Unfortunately, this is common enough to require it’s own section.
FIFPRO is a website that provides professional soccer players a platform to discuss pressing topics around the world.
Occasional clickbait titles aside, this site has great talking points regarding injury prevention and health-related topics for soccer players. Many topics are supported by interviews with professional players and team admin, which is why FIFPRO makes the cut.
This site also does a great job at discussing common mental health concerns in the sport by elevating the voice of professional soccer players around the world.
University Research Departments
This is a category of resources to keep an eye on.
Many universities, especially those with major athletic programs, fund excellent research labs that marry sport science with biology, physics, tech, and engineering through studies.
Take advantage of resources provided by major institutions with large athletic departments. They have the means to develop some awesome studies.
You can also keep an eye on other schools:
- University of North Carolina: Motion Science Institute
- Duke University Sport Science Institute
- University of Southern California Sport Science Lab
- University of Oregon: Bowerman Sports Science Center
- University of Miami Sport Medicine Research Program
We could keep listing, but you get the idea.
By the way, if you or your athlete attend a school with these research labs, there are plenty of opportunities to sign up for a study or even help conduct them in exchange for authorship. How cool is that!
Use Your Resources
There are some relevant and credible resources out there.
Don’t get caught up with trends and fads. Stick with the facts, and you or your athlete will go far.
Check in on this page periodically, as it is an evolving piece.