What Should Athletes Eat And What To Watch For

Nutrition information for athletes and for health conscious people is very important. Eating fresh vegetables, fruits and proteins most of the time is an ideal worth striving for. Good  supplements  use may also be helpful.

For those times when manufactured products like protein powders and other packaged articles need to be used there is one action that should be taken when deciding on which food products to buy:

 

Read Nutrition facts labels

athletes need to read nutrition facs labels

 

You can never know all the ingredients contained in what you eat. However,  it’s very good idea to look at the nutrition facts labels on food products that have them. Then you can make an informed decision whether to buy and use them.

It’s very easy to choose foods based on what they look like since some packaging is very appealing. But packaging is not what you eat.

It gets more difficult when you want to find something that is also good for you.

Nutrition facts labels may not seem like good reading when they reveal the truth about something you really enjoy eating.

But you will want to read them to make sure you are not ingesting frequently and on a regular basis something that you know is bad for your health and for your athletic performance.

Ingredients labels can be especially important to read if you’re trying to avoid or minimize certain substances like sodium, trans fatty acids and refined high glycemic index carbohydrates.

young athletes in action athletic food break

It’s also important to read nutrition facts labels correctly, because they list the nutrients of foods per serving.

Food packages almost always contain more than one serving. It makes sense for food packaged intended for a family or a group of people.

It can be misleading when it comes to snack packs and beverages.

Who eats part of a snack bag or drinks only part of a bottle, saving the rest for later?

Why don’t they just make one serving bags and bottles?

If it’s because they would be too small, that’s probably a food or drink you want to avoid.

large drinks athletes may want to avoid

Nutrition facts labels also usually pertain to a 2000 calorie diet. So what the nutrition facts mean to you will depend on how you eat or how you should eat.

They will list the number of calories per serving but if you eat the entire contents that consisted of 2 servings you’re actually eating twice the calories listed. This goes for all of the nutrients in the food.

Nutrition facts labels are a good guide, but they’re not always completely factual.

Take Ingredients Labels With A Grain Of Salt

Nutrition facts labels are now required to list the amount of trans fats in the contents.

You will often see products loudly proclaiming that they have zero trans fats but that may be deceptive.

In reality food products manufacturers are allowed to list 0 grams of trans fats on their labels as long as the amount is under 1 g per serving.

So if you eat several servings, it can easily add up to a significant amount of trans fats which is far from zero.

Nutrition information is never one hundred per cent accurate.

When using manufactured, prepackaged and processed foods the ingredients labels are all we can go by. Athletes and everybody who cares about their health need to read them.

When it comes to natural foods, deciding whether something is healthy is pretty straight forward.

Athletes, whether young, developing or at their peak levels as well as healthy conscious people should always strive to eat healthy, natural and fresh foods combined into a healthy diet menu.

When the need to use manufactured products arises as it occasionally will, nutrition information for athletes and anyone else can and should be gleaned from reading nutrition facts labels.

 

Is Your Young Athlete Fueled By Unhealthy Foods?

There are 4 ways to stop your young athlete from eating junk foods that you need to know about if your child is involved in any kind of organized sport activity.

You are very likely familiar with the last minute scramble to find inexpensive snacks and drinks that the whole team will like on your scheduled day. It’s not easy to find healthy drinks and snacks quickly.

 

It’s just one more thing on the endless list of things that we moms (and dads) do for our kids.

Children are becoming involved in organized sports at early ages, as young as three years old.

 

Between the practices and the games our children are committed to anywhere from 2 to 7 days of the week.

a young athletic games winner

While they are benefiting from the physical activity, the junk foods and drinks they are often consuming at these events can easily cancel out those benefits.

In the busyness of our lives, it’s easy to not realize how often kids are eating and drinking processed foods with ingredients like high fructose corn syrup, refined grains, trans-fats, artificial colors and flavors.

examples of drinks young athletes should avoid

4 Ways You Can Save Your Child Athlete From Junk Food Overload:

child athlete junk food overload should be prevented

#1)  As a mom, you can ask your child’s coach to consider allowing each player to bring his or her own snack and beverage, which will give you more control over what your child consumes.

#2) If that is not an option, you can let your child know that as his or her parent, you have decided that you are going to be packing healthy snacks for practices and games.

 

It is our responsibility to take care of our children’s health, and this is one way to do that. If your child resists,you’ll want to be consistent and also appeal to his or her desire to perform optimally, like his or her favorite professional athletes.

#3) Find a high school, college or professional athlete in your child’s sport that is a good role model for real athlete food nutrition.

#4) If you are tied into the snack schedule, whether it is for sports, school or church, set a good example. Take the extra few minutes or spend a little extra to buy a real food snack, like string cheese or fruit. Make some homemade whole grain cookies or protein bars. Keep the beverage a good water, which is what young athletes need most.

With kids, there’s no way around the craziness of our schedules, but as moms who love our kids, we need to be advocates for their health.

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We can do this through educating ourselves and through leading by example. We can always put to use the 4 ways to stop your young athlete from eating junk foods.

By: Angelle Batten

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