Being a young athlete, you have the sporting world as your oyster when it comes to how successful you can truly be in the industry. As well as dedication and training, a lot of this can also come down to how well you treat your body and eating the right foods to ensure that you can perform to optimum performance. Young athletes need to be able to grow in the right way to perform well in sports and this can be achieved through their diet, so it’s important they’re aware of what to eat and when before they go out to perform.
Eat carbs for energy
Carbohydrates are needed in order for the body to store energy when young athletes go to perform. This is why it’s important to stock up on healthy carbohydrates before the game so you have plenty of energy during your performance. Example foods that you can eat can include brown pasta, potatoes, oatmeal and whole-grain bread. These will provide you with the required energy you need to reduce the risk of fatigue.
Be cautious with fatty foods
Fatty foods can be extremely heavy on your body, which means you’ll find it difficult to move around properly and perform how you want. It can be difficult for young athletes to be active when they’re eating greasy and fried food regularly. To prevent them from getting tired and sluggish, keep away from fatty foods and nutrition tablets such as fish oil capsules and pizza when you’re about to practice or go out for the game.
Dehydration can easily lead to fatigue and dizziness for young athletes. This is why you should look to hydrate early in the day and throughout to keep hydrated for the period leading up to a game. Plenty of water will be sufficient to make up for sweat loss during the game and periods should also be taken throughout the game to have a drink break or cup of water. This is particularly important for hot days when you may lose more liquid than normal from your body.
Time your meals correctly
Timing when you have your meals is just as important as what you eat. For standard meals, you need to give your body time to digest the food and absorb the relevant vitamins, nutrients and minerals that they contain to help you to perform well. If you can, eat about 2-3 hours before you’re about to engage in physical activity if it’s a large meal. For snacks and small foods, you can have it up to 30 minutes before.
In the early days of your young athlete engaging in high performance sport, how they grow and develop is crucial to make them stand out from the rest of their competition. Eating well can contribute greatly to them achieving this, so ensure they’re eating well and watch them become the potential superstar you hope for.