Why Young Athletes Need Proper Nutrition?
All teenagers are required to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should teenager who play sports need to follow the same diet? Well No, as athletes have different nutrition and calorie requirements. Athletes have no taste buds, certain foods either may need to be avoided or included in an athletes’ diet to ensure that they perform at their peak. Young athletes need a proper and well-structured nutrition plan based on the demands put on their body for their right growth.
As per best child nutritionist, all athletes aim to compete at the peak of their game and train for long hours for their sport thereby exhausting their bodies of energy, carbs & proteins while their bodies are trying to grow. It is like a double whammy for them as it is the most crucial time for laying out the foundation for their future growth whilst maintaining physical and nutrition needs for their sports. Just like a car needs the right fuel to perform, to be in best condition for competition young athletes need the best sports nutrition plan.
The benefits of proper nutrition include Injury prevention, Lessened muscle tiredness, and soreness, Boosting the immune system, Enhanced energy levels, Improved focus and attention span, Muscle healing and recovery. Injury impacts an athlete both physically and psychologically. It hampers an athlete’s growth and confidence. An injury-free athlete is like a lion on the field, whereas an injury prone athlete is timid. Muscle soreness is a symbol of successful training outcome, but an athlete needs to recover quickly in order to train harder at his optimal level at the same time avoiding any occurrence of injury. Foods can do wonders for an athlete’s recovery. It will work behind the screen when the athlete would be relaxing, watching TV, listening to songs or when he/she is in deep sleep. Energy is the driving force that catapults athletes to the top while the lack of it causes many to quit. It helps athletes to reach peak physical performance at their sport. A young athlete who is constantly juggling between training, studies and competitions would need to maintain both mental and physical energy levels in order to perform well.
The optimal balance of macro and micro nutrients is essential for athletes’ performance. Calcium is good for bone health, proper iron intake is required to enhance work capacity, improve immune function, lessen the fatigue and boost cognitive ability. Carbohydrates are a major source of energy and lack of their intake results in premature fatigue. Protein helps building, maintaining, and repairing muscle and other body tissues. Fats are pivotal for performance because they deliver vitamins, minerals, and nutrients to our strenuous activity driven body. The intake of these nutrients would differ for an athlete to athlete based on their genetics, blood chemistry, Sports and Training schedule & load. These nutrients can be sourced from variety of foods, but it’s vital to know which foods to be eaten, in what portion and at what time to allow enough time for the absorption & digestion of the nutrients, which an athlete need to perform. A structured nutrition strategy for pre, during and post competition might just prove to be the difference between lifting the trophy and lifting the kit bag to back home. Eating right food, in right portions, at right time is the proper sports nutrition for young athletes.
Young athletes rely on their coaches and parents for nutrition advice. While we all want the best for our student or kid and our small tips are also impactful, but it lacks longevity and scientific approach. Also the peer influence is high in the early stages of life; hence a proper customized nutrition strategy under guidance of an expert can prove to be beneficial. Food is body’s fuel and once an athlete understands this, the knowledge will optimize his/her performance and provides a competitive edge over their rival. Science proves this and also that eating right balances the athletes’ body to maximize fat burning, recovery, energy, mental alertness, muscle building, & much more.
Following a best child nutrition plan under a best sports nutritionist will help to instill the right education in the athlete at a very young age which will inculcate healthy eating as part of their lifestyle so that they are setup to win for rest of their life.