December 12, 2011
Game Time Nutrition for Teens
It's that time of year when our young athletes are putting in a full day of school before hitting volleyball or football practice until dinner time, or leaving it all out on the field during the big game.
As parents, it can be tough to know exactly what fuel to give your kids to make sure they stay strong and healthy during this busy -- and physically demanding -- time of year.
Here are some tips for optimal nutrition and injury prevention during the season:
The Truth about Carbs: A pre-game meal packed with only carbohydrates can actually leave athletes feeling tired and sluggish on the field. Make sure to also include items low in fiber and fat, like grilled chicken or a fresh fruit yogurt smoothie before game time.
Three R's to Recovery -- Replenish, Repair, Rebuild: It's important to refuel within 30 minutes to one hour of working out. Encourage athletes to reach for foods or beverages that are high in protein to help rebuild muscles, such as a glass of chocolate milk, a piece of fruit with peanut butter, or perhaps lunch meat on bread or in a wrap.
Keep it Simple at Game Time: Look for simple mini meals that will fuel your athlete for the entire game, including foods that are good sources of complex carbohydrates, like whole grain pasta or brown rice. Grilled chicken, turkey and canned tuna or salmon are good sources of protein, which is needed to help build a stronger body.
Whole Foods offer Wholesome Nutrition: Whole foods are always better than supplements, so make sure you read the ingredients on anything your athlete is consuming. Watch out for hidden ingredients in powders, shakes and drinks. For example, encourage your child to eat fruits and vegetables in order to get essential vitamins and minerals instead of taking a multi-vitamin supplement.
Teach Your Teen Healthy Habits: Teenage athletes, more than any other age group, are prone to pick the most convenient -- instead of the healthiest -- foods and beverages. Keeping your fridge and cupboards stocked with healthy grab-and-go food options like fresh fruit, low fat string cheese, yogurt, dry roasted almonds, ready-to-eat whole grain cereal, and baked chips will help ensure teens will grab healthier foods.
Posted by Lisa at December 12, 2011 10:35 AM
To send a trackback, use this url. If you know anything about this subject, please post a comment.