How Young Athletes Can Get the Most from Their Sports Nutrition
nutrition and prevention from injury tips for athletes want to improve their athletic performance and stay healthy? These tips will help you become a faster and stronger athlete.
Once our kids have built good nutritional habits, we must then focus more closely on creating meals that support the demands of their sports and the intensity they put into their training and conditioning to be competitive. With more activity, the nutritional needs increase. It is important to understand the needs and how to properly address them.
Here are 7 tips to increasing youth sports performance through sports nutrition
- The first step is to purchase a food count book to see the value of the foods you eat. You should purchase a book that counts the total amount of protein, carbohydrates, fiber, fats, and sodium.
- In addition to the food count book you will need to buy a food journal or create a system for recording your meals to know what changes are necessary to get the most from your nutrition.
- Sports Nutrition starts first with proper hydration. Record your daily water intake and never allow yourself to become thirsty. Once you begin to feel thirsty you are already slightly dehydrated and your performance is compromised.
- Be careful not to overconsume water as this can increase cramping. Water should be consumed over time and not all at once. The flooding of the stomach can dilute nutrients and affect the balance of electrolytes.
- In addition to drinking water each young athlete, should also have 4-6 oz of a sports drink every 30 minutes of exercise, this can deliver lost electrolytes and provide a quick boost to blood sugar that is decreased with intense or extended exercise.
- The meals leading up to the game should be small and easy to digest. Any nutrients taken within the last 20-30 minutes before the game should be more in the form of a pre-workout shake. The ratio of carbohydrates to protein should be 2:1 with little or no fat.
- Solid Pre-workout meals should be at least 90 minutes before the game and should be balanced with 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Proteins, and 20% quality fats.
The NutriBase Complete Book of Food Counts
How Young Athletes Can Prevent Injury with Fat Loss
In today’s world, kids don’t play as much as they did 10 and 20 years ago. This combined with poor nutritional habits has resulted in a major increase in the number of overweight kids. The only physical exercise our kids are getting is from sports. When you ask untrained, overweight kids to perform at very intense levels you are inviting several potential injuries.
By simply decreasing their additional weight, you decrease much of the injury potential.
In this article, I will provide 10 tips to decrease the potential for sports injuries that can be prevented with fat loss.
- Increasing physical activity with daily walks, riding a bike, and eventually starting a supervised exercise program.
- Eat small frequent meals to jump-start the fat-burning posses.
- Eat better quality foods. Stay away from sugar and sports drinks during times of inactivity so you do not increase fat storage.
- Learn more about basic nutrition. Find foods you like that are healthy alternatives to offset poor eating habits.
- Buy a food count book and keep track of your meals to see what you are eating
- Balance each meal with about 50% of your calories coming from carbohydrates, 30% from protein, and 20% from healthy fats.
- Prepare meals ahead of time, decreasing the likely hood of falling into nutritional pitfalls. Know the demands of your schedule and have meals prepared. Freeze additional meals for the week.
- Having only supportive foods in the house makes it difficult to access fast foods or junk food.
- Limit restaurant dining. When eating out at restaurants order healthy alternatives. Ask for a list of substitutions or a healthy choice menu. Some restaurants may let you order ala carte.
- Drink more water throughout the day and you will not only get the fluids your body needs, but you will also find it easier to eat less at each meal. Keeping hydrated is important for overall health. It also helps to regulate all the systems in the body and is one sure-fire way to build a strong metabolism.
These changes are not easy to make all at once. Take each one a step at a time. Just like your food, you eat it in small bites so you don’t choke. Taking on too much at one time may cause any of us to become overwhelmed. However, by implementing these changes, your child will see a decrease in the waistline, improved overall health, more self-confidence, and a major decrease in the risk of sports-related injuries.
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