Three Reasons Athletes Need Nutrition
By Randy Goodman (@RGSportsPhysio)
Sarah is one of the leading scorers on her high school hockey team and today after school was a big game against their rival school. During the game she felt weak and low in energy, definitely not her usual self. It turns out her last meal was before noon during lunch time and she skipped breakfast because she slept in. No wonder she didn’t have any jump.
How do you expect your children to perform their best, recover from a match, or just simply grow if they aren’t fueling their bodies correctly? Let’s further breakdown these three reasons.
In order for your athletes to perform at their best, they need to be fueled. Similar to a race car, top up before the race with premium fuel to maximise the efficiency of their engine. In the human body, we must make sure we eat at the correct times to have a “full” tank of nutrients at our disposal and room to top things up if exercise lasts more than an hour. We also need to make sure what we are putting in the tank is the right stuff, as discussed in the Nutrition 101 video.
Not only do they need fuel to burn during activity, but our children’s bodies need fuel to repair the damage created by training and competing. This includes restoring our energy stores used by exercise, but also helping our bones, muscles, and joints recover from exercise or injuries. Sleep ties into this equation, but keep in mind that the timing of when they eat after exercise is also very important.
Last but not least, their bodies need fuel to grow. The growing body requires nutrients to get big and strong. The quality of food your child eats is very important to put the building blocks in place to grow and develop as an athlete. Don’t compromise their minds either, even brain functionality is related to what you eat.
Following these guidelines, you are giving your young athlete the best chance to excel. Remember, you are what you eat!