What Should Young Athletes Eat And When
Nutrition for young athletes and meal timing, the food they eat as well as when to have their meals and snacks, is really very important. Young athletic students need to be taught and learn what to eat and the best times to eat it. This will depend on the activities they engage in.
Before exercise, players need the kind of nutrition that is going to keep them full for a long time by providing complex carbohydrates to give them energy. We will cover the healthy menu choices as you read on.
Eating a small snack is a good idea about 30 minutes to 1 hour before the activity. Larger snacks should be eaten two hours before while meals should be given 3 hours to digest.
This allows the body to process food properly and reduces the risk of illness or negative effects, such as cramps. By eating at proper times before exercise, the training or competing, young sports persons ensure that they are fuelling their body appropriately for the work they will be doing.
After exercising, they should eat again. There is no exact rule for how many minutes or hours an athlete should eat following exercise. But eating soon after promotes healthy regrowth of muscles and it replenishes the body with vital nutrients, allowing the young athlete to recover faster.
The metabolism is elevated for at least two hours after exercise. Eating anytime during that period is appropriate and many nutritionists suggest eating within 60 to 90 minutes of activity. Eating during this period encourages the body to use the food as energy for muscles instead of storing it as fat.
What Young Athletes Need To Eat Before Exercise
Examples of healthy menu items to provide good carbs, some protein:
Protein Powder Drink (please try to avoid Protein Bars)
Fresh Vegetable (raw or steamed)
Plain Yogurt (make sure it is just yogurt without added starch)
These foods are rich in complex carbohydrates, which increase the amount of stored energy in the athlete’s muscles and provide a long and sustained power. They also give adequate protein necessary for balanced nutrition. Some protein needs to be included in every meal and snack.
What Young Athletes Need To Eat After Exercise
To use energy as muscle fuel and not for fat storage in the body, it is necessary to eat a mix of carbohydrates and (especially after a strenuous activity) a good amount of protein. Protein is necessary to rebuild muscles and promote quick recovery. Carbohydrates provide long energy and should make up the larger part of food even after exercise.
Protein should make up about 1/5 of the calories consumed after exercise. Athletes should consume between 300 and 400 calories within an hour of working out. Examples of good food choices for this period include:
A bagel and 3 ounces of tuna fish
Banana and plain yogurt
(remember you want 100% yougurt with no added starch, corn syrup guar gum and other compounds rutinely added to yogurt)
2 cups of oatmeal with blueberries and 2 cups of almond milk
You can modify the above examples and keep the menu interesting by using other grains like brown or basmati rice instead of the bagel, using wild salmon or chicken breast insead of tuna, different berries, different milk etc. Be creative. Kids get bored very quickly and easily so keep it full of surprises while adhering to the basic principles of healthy diet menu to achieve the desired nutrition for young athletes.
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