Have young athletes in your family? Feeding them requires knowledge and planning. Not only do they need optimal nutrition for fueling and recovery from training, but they also must meet energy demands for growth and maturation. Help your kids refuel with the nutrients they need by focusing on family mealtimes before and after practice or game day.
Athletes commonly take supplements, and a few supplements may have merit in the endurance world. Nitrates may help reduce oxygen cost and improve time to exhaustion, possibly cardiorespiratory performance at anaerobic threshold, and even VO2max. Studies are mixed however, and nitrate may preferentially benefit non-elite recreational athletes. Antioxidants may help an athlete who has already peaked in terms of training adaptation, where the main goal is facilitating recovery and earlier return to competition in multi-stage events. Caffeine has a very large body of research behind its ergogenic effects, with side effects being the main limiting factor. There is a paucity of quality research on probiotics for athletes, but chronic URI and GI symptoms common in endurance athletes may potentially be attenuated with Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria supplementation. Additionally, as with any supplement, since the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is not authorized to review dietary supplement products for safety and effectiveness before they are marketed, there is the risk of contaminants and illicit substances in commercial supplements. These substances may not only present a safety risk but may be on a banned substance list for professional athletes . While it is recommended that athletes obtain nutrition from whole foods, we acknowledge that athletes may take supplements and recommend they choose from trusted sources.
If you are planning an Olympic-distance or longer triathlon, Triathlete.com, the online arm of Triathlete Magazine, offers a nutrition channel with fueling plans from pros, updates on recent research and reviews of sports nutrition products.
I also find it beneficial to educate them on the specific nutritional demands of their sport. For example, if they are a distance athlete, they will benefit from a diet with a higher percent of carbs versus a strength or power athlete who will need more protein.
I also suggest eating more veggies, such as cut-up carrots, celery, and peppers as a quick snack with some hummus or whatever dip they might have in the house. I recommend they share the info with their parents so the whole family is onboard. I have had athletes ask me for recipes, because I regularly post meals I make at home and nutrition tips. Sharing nutritional information on social media or group chats has also worked well for me.
Possibly the most important nutritional intake substance for athletes is Water. For reference purposes, a reliable report published by the Institute of Medicine (IOM) in 2004 suggests that adult women should consume about 2.7 liters of water each day, while adult men should consume about 3.7 liters per day. Athletes need considerably more water than non-athletes !!!
Water is necessary for performance, says Turner. If an athlete loses more than 2% of their body weight from sweat, decision making and reaction time is slowed, perceived exertion is increased, and lean muscle is compromised. 2b1af7f3a8