How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Soccer 2024? Experts Explain

Soccer is a beloved global sport combining fun with fitness, but how effective is it for burning calories? “How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Soccer? Experts Explain” kicks into the science of energy expenditure on the soccer field.

How Many Calories Do You Burn Playing Soccer?

To calculate the calories burned while playing soccer, you’ll need to consider your weight, the intensity of play, and the game’s duration. A standard formula used draws on the MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task) value of soccer, which is a unit that represents your energy expenditure during physical activities. Here’s a basic formula:

Calories burned per minute = (MET x your weight in kilograms x 3.5) ÷ 200

For an hour of play, multiply this value by 60. For example, if competitive soccer has a MET value of 10, and you weigh 180 pounds:

Calories burned per minute = (10 x 81.65kg x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 14.29 calories
Calories burned for 60 minutes = 14.29 x 60 = 857 calories

Factors Influencing Calorie Expenditure

  • Weight: Heavier individuals will burn more calories than lighter ones during the same physical activity.
  • Duration: The longer the game, the more calories you’ll expend.
  • Intensity: A casual game has a lower MET value (around 7), while competitive play is higher (10 or above). The more intense the game, the higher the calorie burn.
  • Age: Generally, younger players may have a higher metabolic rate, affecting calorie burn.
  • Position Played: Active positions like midfielders may increase calorie expenditure due to continuous movement.

Soccer for Fitness and Weight Loss

A soccer ball rolls across a grassy field, surrounded by players in motion. The sun shines down as the game intensifies, with players sprinting and kicking the ball, burning calories

Benefits of Soccer for Physical Fitness

Soccer is a fantastic exercise, combining running, sprinting, and agility training to engage multiple muscle groups. Regular soccer can boost cardiovascular health, muscle mass, and metabolism. Here’s how soccer can uplift your fitness routine:

  • Cardiovascular Health: Continuous play increases heart rate, strengthens your heart, and reduces the risk of heart disease.
  • Muscle Building: Soccer engages your core, quads, hamstrings, and calves, building lean muscle.
  • Metabolic Boost: As muscle mass increases, so does your resting metabolism, meaning you’ll burn more calories even when inactive.

Soccer’s Role in Weight Management

Regarding weight loss, soccer can be a dynamic contributor to your weight management efforts. The sport’s intensity levels range from light to moderate to vigorous, tailored to your fitness goals. Here’s how soccer impacts your weight loss strategy:

  • Caloric Burn: A competitive game can burn 800-1000 calories depending on your body weight.
  • Energy Expenditure: Soccer’s variety in training intensities ensures you always maximize energy use.
  • Nutrition Synergy: Pairing soccer with a healthy diet leads to a calorie deficit, which is essential for losing body fat.

Boldly lace up your cleats and let soccer guide your fitness and weight loss journey. You’ll not only enjoy the game but also love the results it brings to your health and performance.

Player Positions and Energy Dynamics

Players sprint across the field, passing and shooting. Energy is high as they chase the ball, burning calories with each dynamic movement
  • Goalkeeper: As the netkeeper, you engage in more localized, high-intensity bursts of activity. Your metabolic equivalent of task (MET) may be lower than that of outfield players, but the energy cost of those explosive dives and rapid reflexes is significant.
  • Defenders: You embody the team’s stronghold, engaging in moderate to high-intensity activities. You might not travel as much as a midfielder, but your energy expenditure includes potent surges during critical defense plays.
  • Midfielders: You are the heartbeat of the team’s action. Your constant running increases your MET value, which raises your energy demands. Maintaining endurance while utilizing cognitive function for strategy and teamwork pushes your calories burned per minute upward.
  • Strikers and Wingers: You sprint and change direction frequently, leading to a high caloric output, especially during competitive soccer matches. Your success hinges on short, powerful bursts to outrun defenders and secure goals.

Training Intensity and Duration

  • Competitive vs. Recreational Soccer: If you’re playing competitive soccer, your body works at a top-tier intensity for long stretches, often exceeding 1 hour. This increases your energy output enormously compared to a recreational game with friends.
  • Duration Matters: The longer your match or practice, the more calories you torch. For instance:
    Duration Estimated Calories Burned (Midfielder)
    15 minutes High energy cost due to sustained intensity
    30 minutes Significant increase in calories burned.
    60 minutes (1 hour) Potential to burn 800-1000 calories
  • Training Regimen: Your daily training also plays a vital role. Short, high-intensity drills lasting 5-10 minutes can rack up energy expenditure quickly, while longer sessions over 30 minutes prioritize endurance and may have varying MET values.


How many calories do I burn in a 2 hour soccer practice?

In a 2-hour soccer practice, you can burn between 1,000 to 1,900 calories, depending on the intensity and your body weight.

Can you burn 1,000 calories playing soccer?

Yes, playing an intense soccer game for about 1.5 to 2 hours can burn 1,000 calories.

How many calories do you burn playing football for 30 minutes?

Playing football for 30 minutes burns approximately 250 to 350 calories, depending on the intensity and your body weight.

How many calories do football players burn?

Football players can burn between 1,500 to 2,000 calories during a game due to the high intensity and duration of play.

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