Join Travis, Rob, and Casey in this round table video for a discussion on youth nutrition. While nutrition recommendations depend on each person’s current habits and goals, we discuss a few pieces of advice that can apply to most young athletes.
For starters, hydration is key. Most of the athletes that we see are very active — they play a sport, often do strength training, and go to school. The likelihood of them consuming sufficient water is usually pretty low, so hydration is a good place to start.
From there, we can dig deeper. We take a look at what each individual’s dietary habits are. Are they eating before practice? Are they going long periods (between training sessions) without consuming much? What types of things are they consuming?
Another factor is parental influence over what a youth athlete can or can’t eat. Casey gives an example where a parent was asking for advice on why their child was always lethargic. It could’ve been a variety of different causes, but Casey asked for a sample meal plan of what she was eating. The child was eating the same foods as her mother (protein, vegetables, and limited fats and carbohydrates) who was training for a competition. What’s effective for one person may not be effective for everyone. Ultimately, the child wasn’t getting enough healthy fats she needed and gained her energy back after adjusting her diet.
Parental involvement is important. Rob also points out that this information isn’t common in schools, so educating the parents and kids together is key to their success.