When it comes to youth strength training, especially in high school, nutrition is very important. What these young athletes are putting into their bodies to fuel workouts or help recover post-training goes a long way when developing a healthy body and preventing injury. Just like professional athletes, focusing on the right nutrition will help young athletes keep performing at their best.
Nutrition diets for young athletes varies from sport to sport, and it should not be the same for every athlete. This is because nutrient needs vary between activity, intensity, body type and age as well. Here are some basic nutrition tips for young athletes.
Balance Is Key
Balance is key when it comes to a young athletes diet. A balanced diet will allow young athletes to make sure they are getting the nutrients they need. Only eating proteins or only eating veggies is not sufficient for a growing young athlete. About 50 to 60 percent of a young athletes plate should consist of carbohydrates, which help fuel energy that’s needed for practice, games and training. Good carbs to eat include whole wheat pasta, brown rice, bread and sweet potatoes. On top of carbohydrates, 25 to 30 percent of a young athletes diet should consist of non-starchy vegetables, and the remaining 10 to 15 percent should include lean protein, which includes chicken, turkey, eggs, and skim milk. It’s especially important that youth strength training athletes are eating at least 1 serving of protein in each meal.
Another aspect of nutrition that a lot of athletes overlook is the fluids they are drinking. Water is essential in the prevention of heat-related illnesses, daily hydration and sports performance. Athletes should start hydrating hours before activity to ensure they are hydrated during games. This should primarily be done by drinking just water, and avoiding sodas, sports drinks, and other drinks that contain high amounts of sugar. Athletes can also eat fruits such as watermelon and oranges, which contain a large amount of water.
Breakfast is the most important meal
It holds true to the saying, breakfast is the most important meal, and a great way to start your day. Breakfast should be used to start your day off right, and give you energy needed throughout the morning.
How to make healthy eating a habit
Healthy eating habits start at home with the parents of youth strength training athletes. Parents should be encouraging healthy eating habits to their children starting at a young age. Another way to create a healthy eating habit is eating family dinners at home. Not only are family dinners generally more healthy, but it also helps demonstrate healthy habits.
Healthy nutrition is vital when it comes to youth athletes and their performance. Eating a balanced diet that includes all food groups, consuming the right amount of water to stay hydrated, and developing healthy eating habits at home will all benefit our young athletes.
Warren Academy is a top sports performance program that focuses on the growth of young athletes. We offer many programs that help athletes excel in sports, get stronger, faster and overall better their athleticism. Visit our website today to learn more about our programs!