Feeding a teenager is hard enough when they are content to hang around the house. Feeding a teenage athlete is a whole other challenge. There is much more to sustain a healthy teen athlete than chomping down on carb bars and gulping down copious sports drinks.
It may seem like the most expensive, elaborate packaging must mean that a food is super healthy, but it is all a clever marketing rouse. The body does not know the difference between a name brand and a generic brand.
Try incorporating a few changes in your teen athlete’s diet with these helpful tips. Keep them running strong and moving along with a well-rounded, amped-up food plan. Whether your child attends a Kids Gymnastics club or is part of a football team – their health is key.
Food is fuel for the machine
It simply does not make sense to put low-grade gasoline in a high-dollar sports car, so it does not make sense to give your child low-quality foods. An active, athletic teenage boy should take in no less than 3,000 calories a day.
Sugary snacks and cheap, processed foods simply do not provide the proper nutrition to sustain a healthy teenage athlete. Feed your kid fruits, veggies, whole-grains, and lean proteins to keep their “machine” working well.
The importance of carbohydrates and protein
Carbohydrates are vital to the body’s system, because they are basically stored energy inside the body’s muscles. Athletes need a mass storage of carbs before a big game to give their muscles the energy to compete.
Feed your athlete a heavy carb meal the night before a game. Give them a bag of trail mix and a sports drink once the performing is finished. High impact workouts call for a high impact recharge.
Protein is also vital to a healthy diet, as it provides the main building blocks for muscle in the body. Active teenagers needs plenty of protein to support their growing and moving bodies. Lean meats, chicken, turkey, fish, and eggs are excellent go-tos for a healthy dose of natural protein.
Dieting in teenage athletes
Dieting in the teenage culture is already a challenging issue to tackle. Dieting and weight loss in teenage athletes is an epidemic in some places.
Sports that place a high emphasis on weight (wrestling, swimming, dancing, and gymnastics) may pressure kids into cutting calories. Always keep a close eye on your teen athlete’s eating habits.
Calcium and iron are essential vitamins
Not only is your teenager in a vital stage of physical growth, but they are expending vast amounts of energy playing sports. They need plenty of calcium to support healthy bone growth. They need plenty of iron to keep the oxygen freely flowing to their muscles as they play.
For a healthy iron intake, eat foods such as lean meats, fish, poultry, and leafy greens. Foods such as low-fat milk, yogurt, and cheese are great for providing adequate calcium.