Young athletes should strive to become the best athlete they can be. Weight training, conditioning and skill development play a big role in becoming a better athlete and player.
However, something every young athlete should be paying attention to is their nutrition. They should know what they are putting in their body and how it is affecting them.
Eating a healthy and balanced diet can boost a young athlete’s performance and overall health. Here are a few healthy eating tips every young athlete should learn and know.
1. Consume foods that are rich in vitamins and minerals
Parents should aim to provide their young children with diets that are rich in vitamins and minerals. A good way to do this by incorporating calcium and iron rich foods and drinks in your meals at home. Calcium helps develop strong bones, especially for youth. Dairy such as milk and cheese are rich in calcium. Iron helps ensure that there is enough oxygen to be able to reach different body parts during exercise. This will help muscles grow and is good for the health of athletes.
2. Ensure that your child gets plenty of protein
Protein is important for young athletes as it helps to repair and build muscles. Fortunately, it is relatively easy to find in a number of foods including lean meats and poultry, dairy products, fish, nuts, beans and soy. It is vital to note, however, that taking in too much protein can lead to calcium loss and dehydration, both of which can affect athletic performance. For tips on getting enough protein in your kids diet, this is a great place to start.
3. Remember that carbohydrates are important for energy
This is one healthy eating tips that many adults have been encouraged to steer clear of carbs as it can easily lead to weight gain if eaten in large quantities. Remember, that carbs are a phenomenal source of energy that can give young athletes a real performance boost on the field. While there is no need to go overboard with carb-rich foods, kids that avoid them completely will essentially be running on an empty tank. This is why many track athletes for example; eat pasta the night before a meet. Carbs are a great source of energy that every athlete needs to incorporate into their diet.
Of course, some carbs are better than others. When planning your child’s meals, look for complex carbohydrates such as whole grain bread, brown rice, oats, whole-wheat pasta and heaps of vegetables.
4. Ensure you are getting plenty of water
Last but not least, this could be argued as the most important healthy eating tips on this list. It is so important that athletes are fueling their bodies with water and staying hydrated. Staying hydrated increases energy, improves movement, recover and agility. When hydrated, athletes see improved muscle function, more regulated blood pressure, and improved blood flow and circulation, all of which are essential to athletic performance. To ensure athletes are getting enough water, athletes should be drinking half an ounce to an ounce of water per pound of body weight.
Warren Academy helps athletes develop skills and train for their sport lives. To learn more about Warren Academy or any of our programs, visit our website today!