Nutritional Tips for Young Athletes

Nutritional Tips for Young Athletes

There are so many kids today who are fully invested in sports. Athletics plays a significant role in the lives of many kids, especially those in middle school and high school. While sports can help kids stay healthy, learn about teamwork and develop life-long skills they can truly benefit from, sports can also put a major strain on many young athlete’s bodies. This is why it is so important that young athletes and their parents understand the importance of proper nutrition. The right nutrition can make all of the difference in their athletic performance and their ability to recover.

This is why we have cultivated a list of some of our best nutrition tips for young athletes out there to help them stay healthy, active and at the top of their game!

  • Balance is Key- There are many young athletes (and parents) who unfortunately assume active kids can eat whatever they want. After all, kids tend to have high metabolisms and burn lots of extra calories while playing sports. However, even if your kid is thin or lean, it doesn’t mean they can eat pizza and junk food every day. These foods are still bad for your child, even if they don’t lead to excess weight. Balance is key, no matter how active your child is.
  • Protein is Essential for Building Strong Muscles- Strong muscles are not only important for better performance, but they also help prevent muscle tears and injuries. This is why protein is so important. Lots of healthy nuts or nut butters, beans, lean meat like chicken breast and fish, should be part of your child athlete’s diet.
  • Hydration, Hydration, Hydration- Proper hydration is so important for every kid, especially athletes and is particularly important in Texas. In fact, kids are more likely to suffer from heat-related illnesses while exercising than adults are. Make sure that kids are drinking water before, during and after games and practice. In addition to 8-10 glasses of water per day, consider hydrating snacks like watermelon and orange slices and limit caffeine and soda. Water is the key, avoid the sports and hydration drinks if possible.
  • Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal of the Day- Kids who are participating in sports (especially in practice right after school), need to have an energizing breakfast to help get them through the day. This also prevents over-eating once their activities are over. Make sure your kid takes the time to eat a healthy breakfast every morning. This is a meal that should include fruit, but can also have healthy carbs, like avocado toast, whole-wheat bagels or oatmeal for the carbs and energy young athletes need.

If you have more questions about nutritional tips for your young athletes or how you can help keep your child stay as healthy as possible, contact us today at Continuum Pediatrics. To schedule an appointment give us a call at 817-617-8600, we are here to help with all of your nutritional concerns and help make sure your child is as happy and healthy as possible as they continue to do their best in all of their athletic endeavors.