Appropriate nutrition is important for athletes of all ages and abilities, but it is of particular concern in young athletes. Young developing athletes have different and more specific nutritional requirements which are critical to maintain growth, health and to achieve athletic potential.
Ignore the correct principles of fuelling and replenishing the body at your peril. To reach the very top you should be looking at every possible angle to maintain your health so you are as fit as possible for training and matches as well as school and social activities.
Finding a nutritional approach that works for each individual is important. Do not follow general guidelines set out in magazines and websites that are designed for adults.
Crucial micronutrients (vitamins and minerals) for young developing athletes are:
- B vitamins
Focus should be placed on eating the following foods to ensure these micro nutrients are consumed:
- Dark Green leafy vegetables (broccoli, kale, spinach)
- Dairy (cheese, milk, natural yogurt)
- Eggs (free range ideally)
- Poultry and grass fed beef (organic is best)
- Oily fish (wild salmon, mackerel, sardines, pilchards)
- Complex carbohydrate (oats, quinoa, bulgar wheat, sweet potato)
- Fresh fruit and dried fruit
- Seeds and pulses (sesame, flaxseeds, linseed, lentils, chickpeas, beans)
Choose foods that are familiar and well tolerated before matches and if trying new foods do this before training in case of stomach upsets. Please be aware if you have a nutritional intolerance then consult a specialist for further advice.
Sometimes it is difficult to get all vitamins and mineral through food due to lack of convenience or preparation! This is where sports nutrition products can help. Our products are full of the vital micro nutrients that youngsters need with no artificial colours flavours or preservatives.