Junior Athletes Need Healthy Diets When Playing Sports
Good nutrition plays the vital role in the growth and development of your body. For young athletes and young people who play a lot of sports just for fun, paying extra attention to their nutrition is a necesity. Sometimes young athletes can be overly take care of their weight because they’re playing sports. And some sports will require athletes to weighing more or being larger is some requirement of some sports such as wrestling. But in other sports, it’s important to be smaller and to weigh less, such as in gymnastics.
Your body is developing so you need to be sure you eat enough healthy foods to help your body on its way. Additionally, giving the best performance you can in your sport requires that you be in optimal condition. Don’t make the mistake of trying to help yourself to compete better in your sport by damaging your diet or practicing unhealthy nutrition. This will only cause you to play worse than before. If you’re not sure how to balance it all, talk to your physician.
Be sure to eat 3-5 cups of vegetables and fruits every day. Carbohydrates are very important to keep your body working at its best. We need carbohydrates in order to feel our best and to run at our best. Plus fruits give us carbohydrates along with lots of water, which we also need.
Another thing to be sure you have in your diet is complex carbohydrates. Whole wheat bread is an easy way to eat complex carbohydrates.
Dairy is an important part of a good sports nutrition diet. As an athlete, you’re doing lots of weight-bearing exercise, which is great for your bones. But you also need enough dairy so that your growing body can develop bones like it’s supposed to. Four servings a day should do the trick.
Guard against dehydration which happens when you don’t have enough water in your body. Dehydration can cause you to have a headache or to feel weak. You might even feel dizzy or sick to your stomach. You won’t be able to run as hard or to play nearly as well. Your muscles can cramp and you may feel really cranky and upset. A lot of people get dehydrated and don’t even know it. You’ll want to be drinking plenty of water, before and after any sports activities, and for particularly strenuous games, you’ll need to drink right as it’s happening.
A couple hours before practice or your game, eat a sandwich on whole-grain bread. A piece of fruit on the side or a bowl of cereal with milk is not going to hurt. Another great choice might be some pasta with tomato sauce. You can even have a bagel with peanut butter and a piece of fruit.
After you finish with practice or your sporting event, you should also eat of any of these same meals. Or maybe you’ll want some lean meat with a side of potatoes, vegetables and milk? Regardless, you always want to eat something within 30 minutes of finishing practice or your game.
The “recovery meal” is important so that you can recover from all the hard work you just did. And it will help you play just as well or better the next time. Make sure your recovery meal includes plenty of carbs and lean protein. And any dairy, milk, cheese or yogurt, is also going to be a big plus.
My name is Rhys Gwilliam and I’m a 16-year old kid from the beautiful islands of New Zealand (“Aotearoa”). I am a keen sportsman and understand that good nutrition and exercise is essential to stay in peak form. So you could say that I have a passion for health. I enjoy sharing my personal experiences and my daily goal is to help others live healthier lives.
That’s why I designed a blog to share my sports nutrition tips & ideas for a healthier lifestyle with you. Simply head over to http://www.rhysgwilliam.com where I’ll be waiting for you.