3 Goals for Off-Season Training for Youth Athletes
Triathletes are obsessive types. If you pay the price of time and sweat during the off-season training, you certainly will reap the benefits during the heat of the battle in-season. As a nutrition professional, she realizes it is her job to help this young athlete understand that to meet the demands of his sport and the physiological needs of his developing body, it is critical that he not deprive himself of macronutrients and micronutrients. He uses an integrative approach when treating pain and dysfunction in the joints and soft tissue of the body. Nutrition professionals can aid young athletes in their quest for victory by recognizing that children and adolescents generally need more calories and protein per pound of body weight than many adults. Once a nutritionist passes the exams, they will receive a certificate with the initials C. Within a few months, not only has my weight stabilized, but I now enjoy eating again.
Australians, dairy foods offer extra benefits. This unique composition means milk,. Although individual goals vary, a pre-exercise meal. Some athletes worry that dairy foods before sport. A study in competitive female. There may also be some benefits to bones from a. The period following exercise is an opportunity to. When there is more time between. Milk, cheese and yoghurt can contribute to several. Ensure recovery foods are on hand when you need.
For effective rehydration, fluid needs to be taken. Yes, I'll support Nutrition Australia! Join Nutrition Australia today for:. Please take a moment to provide your feedback about our site. Designed and hosted by Infoxchange Australia. The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend 2. For athletes and active Australians, dairy foods offer extra benefits.
But self-reported diet records of young athletes often indicate that intake of energy, carbohydrate, and select micronutrients may be below recommended levels. RDs must be aware that these deficiencies exist and are especially apparent in athletes involved in sports that focus on body composition and appearance.
Critical Micronutrients Current research and trends point to deficiencies in calcium, iron, folate, vitamin B6, and zinc for young athletes. The functions, risks of deficiency, and recommendations for each vital micronutrient follow. Calcium Proper intake of calcium is needed to support bone growth, increase bone mass, and aid in nerve impulses and muscle contraction. To ensure proper bone health, keep in mind that the adequate intake of calcium for children aged 9 to 18 is 1, milligrams per day.
Iron While iron is noted for its oxygen-carrying capacity, it is also a major player in the energy metabolism of carbohydrate, protein, and fats. For this reason, young athletes with iron-deficiency anemia may experience performance inhibition ranging from decreased work capacity to extreme fatigue, impaired immune function, and impaired cognitive reasoning.
On the other hand, it is important to note that iron toxicity is the most common cause of poisoning death in young children. If you want to avoid recommending a supplement, you can recommend food items that are high in iron, such as red meat and enriched cereals and grains, coupled with fruits and vegetables that are high in vitamin C, which aids in iron absorption.
B Vitamins Both vitamin B6 pyridoxine and folate are members of the B-complex of vitamins and are critical components of energy metabolism and blood health. Research differs on whether there are changes in folate and vitamin B6 levels during periods of heavy training. However, the conclusion is usually that exercise does not increase the requirements for these nutrients and the dietary reference intake should be followed.
Zinc While an extreme zinc deficiency is uncommon in the United States, athletes are at risk due to poor consumption of foods rich in this mineral. Zinc plays a role in more than enzymatic reactions in the body and is critical for wound healing, tissue growth and maintenance, and immune function. Various studies have shown that zinc status directly affects basal metabolic rate, thyroid hormone levels, and protein utilization; thus, zinc is critical to athletes.
Dietary protein enhances zinc absorption, and athletes who are most at risk of a deficiency may be vegetarians or those who primarily eat a grain-based diet. With the myriad critical functions to which zinc is linked, consumption of adequate levels of zinc should be stressed.
Critical Macronutrients With an increase in energy expenditure comes a subsequent need for an increase in the intake of carbohydrate, protein, and fat. Current research and trends point to deficiencies in overall total energy and carbohydrate intake. Also of concern is deficient fluid intake and consequent altered hydration status of young athletes.
The functions, risks of deficiency, and recommendations for each vital macronutrient follows. Carbohydrate In athletes, poor carbohydrate intake results in inadequate glycogen stores and premature fatigue, which not only compromises performance but also forces the body to rely on another source for fuel: Glucose from carbohydrate sources is essential to most body functions during exercise. If glucose is not available for use as fuel during physical activity, the body will take from its protein stores for energy via gluconeogenesis.
The young athlete has the capacity to store carbohydrate in the form of glycogen, but this capacity is limited, so carbohydrate must be consumed daily. Carbohydrate needs are based on body weight and intensity of activity. While adult endurance and strength athletes may need more protein per pound of body weight, additional protein needs for young athletes have not been specifically evaluated.
However, the ADA has set the following recommendations:. A minimum of 1. This is critical to monitor as research shows that the population of young athletes is already at risk for calcium deficiency.
Fat While carbohydrate is often spotlighted as the preferred fuel for sports, there are some bodies of research suggesting that lipid or fat may be the preferred fuel for children. This may be due to the higher rate of fat oxidation in children.
Below are some easy-to-follow guidelines for consumption of fats:. The focus should be on an intake of healthy fat from plant oils and soft margarines made with vegetable oils and on limiting the amounts of fried and processed foods. Fluid Maintaining fluid balance is critical for the young athlete. As rates of youth participation in endurance events climb, legitimate concerns about fluid status have arisen.
Aside from the risk of heat-related illness, dehydration is strongly associated with fatigue during exercise. This risk is increased in certain environmental conditions such as high heat and humidity. Compared with adults, young athletes may be at a higher risk for altered fluid status for several reasons: Children experience greater heat stress and heat accumulation, and they have a greater ratio of surface area to body mass and absorb heat more readily.
Specific recommendations for fluid consumption are as follows:. This can be done by weighing the athlete before and after an event and replacing fluids lost 16 to 24 ounces for every pound lost. Overcoming Nutritional Obstacles While young athletes rely on their parents and health professionals for advice, they are extremely susceptible to peer and media influence and the plethora of misinformation that exists in the sports nutrition world.
She suggests that athletes and their parents plan ahead and pack lunches and fueling snacks. Good choices include whole grain granola bars and sandwiches, fresh fruit and vegetables, water, and Gatorade. White suggests that RDs become familiar with the food items offered in school cafeterias and vending machines so athletes will have a better idea of what to select.