Sports nutrition for sports children

Sports nutrition is extremely important for athletes to perform to their fullest potential, while a poor diet can be really dangerous and lead to sports injury. For child athletes who participate in sports programs , a healthy diet is even more important. Young athletes not only bear high stress on their bodies, they are also growing rapidly, and are at a higher risk of injury than an already developed athlete. They need extra calories, vitamins, and minerals to overcome high-intensity exercise, maintain healthy growth, and prevent injury [1]. Does your child know the importance of correct sports nutrition for sports children? Do you know what you should eat to get the most out of it?

It seems that youth coaches may be neglecting the importance of proper sports nutrition for child athletes. We recently conducted a survey of youth soccer coaches to find out if they were encouraging their players to eat healthy and drink water, and only 61% of coaches answered yes. While still the majority, this number is surprisingly low, especially considering that sports nutrition education for kids should go beyond simply cheering them on, but coaches should be showing their players what, how much, and why it’s so important to know what they should eat.

Fortunately, as a parent, you can have a big impact on your child’s nutrition. In this chapter, you will learn how many calories your child should be eating, the correct ratio of macronutrients (carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) based on their energy intake, and what vitamins and minerals can help your child grow up healthy, strong, and successful. . Later, we will talk about sports injuries in children and how sports nutrition for children plays a role in both prevention and recovery.

The next time you make a lunch box for your children, give them a snack before playing, or try not to fill your child with ice cream before dinner; keep this information in mind.

Calories

Let’s start by talking about calories. Calories measure the energy your child absorbs from his food. They need food and a specific amount of calories to have enough energy to get through the day. While your child participates in any activity from walking the dog to studying for an exam, to playing soccer , he will burn calories. They even burn calories by doing involuntary activities, like breathing or growing.

Depending on your child’s unique genetics and daily activity level, they will need to consume a certain amount of calories to have enough energy throughout the day. Athlete children who participate in sports programs should consume more calories than a sedentary child, in order to have enough energy to overcome their sports training.

 

The table below represents the recommended calorie intake for boys and girls ages 4 to 18 according to the USDA. [2]

Age (children) Not active Somewhat active Assets
48 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,600–2,000 calories
9 – 13 years 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories 2,000–2,600 calories
14 – 18 years 2,000–2,400 calories 2,400–2,800 calories 2,800–3,200 calories

 

Age (girls) Not active Somewhat active Active
48 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,400–1,800 calories
9 – 13 years 1,600–2,000 calories 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories
14 – 18 years 1,800 calories 2,000 calories 2,400 calories

 

According to the USDA, in order to be considered an active child, he must walk at least 40 minutes a day. That said, most children who participate in sports programs are considered active children. Soccer players 8 to 10 years old of average height and weight usually burn between 200 and 400 calories per hour of play. Between 14 and 15, they burn between 325 and 670 calories per hour of play. [3] Most teens who play in high school practice 3 hours a day, which means they may be burning up to 2,000 extra calories a day.

Active and growing athletes should never experience a calorie deficit. According to a study by Canadian Dietitians, the Dietetic Association of America, and the American College of Sports Medicine, energy deficits can cause short stature, delayed puberty, menstrual irregularity, loss of muscle mass, and increased susceptibility to fatigue, injury or illness .

[4] Click one of the sports below to see how many calories your child burns when he practices his sport. Be sure to adjust the weight and time spent practicing it for more accurate results, although we do not ensure that these are accurate.

 

Soccer Swimming Running Cycling

Macronutrients

Macronutrients (carbohydrates or carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) are the main source of nutrients in your child’s diet. Each macronutrient has a slightly different function to provide your child with the energy necessary to perform. It is important to keep in mind what percentage of your child’s daily caloric intake comes from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats to be sure they are unlocking their full potential.

Carbohydrates are the main source of energy for an athlete. Proteins create and repair muscles , nails, hair, and skin. Fats absorb vitamins and protect vital organs . In order to increase energy and aid in a healthy recovery after training, child athletes need to consume a higher percentage of carbohydrates and protein than the average adult.

Here you can see how much the average American eats [5]:

Macronutrient Estimated percentage
Carbohydrates 49%
Protein 17%
Greases 3. 4%

 

Here you can see how a correct sports nutrition is for sports children [6]:

Macronutrient Estimated percentage
Carbohydrates 60%
Protein fifteen%
Greases 25%

 

Based on the tables above, young athletes participating in sports programs should increase calorie and protein intake. It may seem like you should encourage them to eat less fat too, but it probably isn’t necessary. As mentioned in the previous section, your child should also be increasing his total caloric intake. So if you just focus on eating a lot more carbohydrates and a little more protein without changing the amount of fat, your calorie intake should go up, and the macronutrient ratio should improve.

The following table at healthyeater.com has a list of foods high in carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Remember: To make sure your child has enough energy to play and recover, they should be taking in more carbohydrates and protein.

 

Carbohydrates Fruit carbohydrates Protein Greases
Oats Grapefruit Eggs Linen
Sweet potatoes Apples Chicken breast Almonds
Integral rice Blueberries Salmon (Alaskan wild) Avocado
Hot multigrain Cantaloupe Turkey breast Olive oil
White potatoes with skin Oranges Canned albacore tuna Walnuts
100% wheat bread Bananas Nuts Virgin coconut oil
100% wheat pasta Peaches Pumpkin seeds Salmon (wild fish)
Vegetables grapes Tofu Peanuts
Hot rice cream Strawberries Fillet (grass veal) Clarified butter
Quinoa Pineapple Churrasco (grass veal) Ripe olives
Couscous Blackberries Cod Peanut oil
pumpkin Plums Greek yogurt Hemp seed oil
Zucchini Pears Rainbow trout Walnuts
Fresh beets Acai berries Broccoli Greek yogurt
Mango Prawns

 

The South Jersey Elite Barons Club of the US Soccer Development Academy wrote an excellent article on sports nutrition for sports children (specifically nutrition for soccer players ), complete and with lunch recommendations. Click here to see it.

Hydration

Hydration is an important part of sports nutrition for child athletes. If your child drinks the right amount of water during sports, he will get the following benefits [7]:

  • Improvement of muscle function
  • Energy boost
  • Lower risk of injury
  • Better recovery
  • Regulation of blood pressure
  • Improved circulation

 

Likewise, dehydration can have a tremendously negative impact on your child’s performance and health. According to Noel Williams, a registered sports dietitian at children’shealth , “almost every performance measure – endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, and reaction speed – decreases with just 2% dehydration.”

In general, dietitians recommend water as the main source of fluids for athletes. However, some also accept the consumption of sports drinks for intensive exercises of more than one hour, or in conditions of intense temperature or humidity. The ideal sports drink contains between 6 and 8% carbohydrates and a little salt . You can find this information printed on the labels of sports drinks like Gatorade or Powerade.

The amount of fluid your child should drink depends on many factors, including the climate in which they play and their height and weight. On average, here you can see how much an active teenager should drink [8]:

Weather Quantity
2 to 3 hours before exercise 1 whole bottle of water (600 mL)
15 minutes before exercise 1/3 to 2/3 of a bottle of (200 – 400 mL)
During exercise (every 15-20 minutes) 1/4 to ½ of a bottle of water (150 – 300 mL)
After exercise 2.5 bottles of water (1.5L)
Water (fluid) intake during the day Just over 4 bottles of water (2.6L)

 

You can have a big impact on your child’s performance by making sure he is hydrated. Let them know why they should be drinking water, and use the chart above to show them exactly how much water they should be drinking, and when.

Prevention of overstrain injuries

Proper sports nutrition for athletic children can help prevent injury from overexertion. Before talking about how to prevent them, let’s talk about what they are and how they occur.

In the US, children ages 5 to 14 account for almost 40% (3.5 million a year) of all sports injuries treated in hospitals. High school students alone count over 2 million sports injuries a year. Almost half of these injuries are due to overexertion, and are generally considered avoidable. [9]

The most common overexertion injuries in child athletes include tennis elbow, swimmer’s shoulder, minor league elbow, runner’s knee, jumper’s knee, Achilles tendinitis, and shin pain. Let’s take a look at how overstress injuries occur and how nutrition plays an important role in their prevention.

Unlike serious injuries, which occur as a result of a single traumatic event, overstrain injuries occur over time, as a result of repetitive physical stress on the bones, ligaments, and tendons. It is normal for young athletes to experience some physical stress while playing sports and games, and physical stress is usually beneficial. In fact, it is a necessary component to develop muscles .

After intense practice or competition, your child’s muscle proteins are slightly damaged. Because of this, they feel sore. During recovery, your body works to repair and replace damaged muscle proteins. Muscle growth occurs when the rate of healing is faster than that of damage. Overexertion injuries occur when the breakdown of cells is faster than the rate at which the body can heal itself. [10]

Nutrition plays a vital role in repairing your children’s muscles to recover and prevent injuries due to overstrain. For this to happen, your child must consume an adequate amount of protein (especially amino acids) and carbohydrates right after finishing training.

One study suggests that although protein synthesis and healing continues for at least 48 hours, it is important to consume these proteins and carbohydrates immediately after training, and especially within 2 hours. Otherwise, it could reverse muscle growth and damage your muscles even more. [11]

It is clear that sports nutrition for young athletes can help prevent injury from overstrain. Did you know that correct sports nutrition for children can also help your child recover from serious injuries?

Recovery from serious injuries

Serious injury occurs as a result of sudden trauma. Proper sports nutrition for athlete children can help them recover faster from serious injuries.

For athletes under the age of 14, the most common serious injuries include fractures of the ankle, elbow, forearm, knee, and wrist. For athletes over the age of 14, these are ankle fractures, ankle sprains, ACL injuries, and shoulder, patella, and clavicle dislocations. If overexertion injuries are responsible for almost half of sports injuries in children, serious injuries are responsible for the other half. [12]

For a long time, the RICE method (“Rest, Ice, Compress, and Elevate”; Rest, Ice, Press and Lift) has been considered the best option for treating serious injuries. The POLICE principle (“Protect, Optimal Loading, Ice, Compress, and Elevate”; Protect, Optimum Load, Ice, Press and Raise) is slowly replacing RICE, but both methods overlook the importance of proper nutrition immediately after injury , especially within 48 hours , not to mention that sports nutrition for children is also important throughout the recovery process – not just right after injury. [13]

If your child is seriously injured, he will need extra energy to heal and recover. In the next 48 hours from trauma, you should be taking 20% more calories than normal. Similarly, certain foods can help speed healing. Depending on the type of injury and its severity, your child should follow a specific diet to rebuild injured tissue and retain its strength during recovery. [14]

Using crutches, for example, requires a 20% calorie boost. A post-operative meal should include probiotic foods like yogurt, sauerkraut, or miso soup to balance with the antibiotics they are taking against the infection. Anti- inflammatory foods such as olive oil, avocado, fish, nuts, and seeds can help relieve pain, although they can also slow down the healing process . [15]

Proper sports nutrition for children can be the difference between your child having a smooth and fast recovery or slow and bad. For more information on exactly what foods your child should be eating to have a good recovery, check out this report from the National Association of Athletic Trainers titled ” Nutrition for Injury Recovery and Prevention. ”

Sports nutrition for athlete children – Summary

Click below to download the general nutrition guides for young athletes. You don’t need email.

DOWNLOAD – GENERAL GUIDES ON SPORTS NUTRITION FOR SPORTS CHILDREN

Calories

Age (children) Not active Somewhat active Assets
48 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,600–2,000 calories
9 – 13 years 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories 2,000–2,600 calories
14 – 18 years 2,000–2,400 calories 2,400–2,800 calories 2,800–3,200 calories

 

Age (girls) Not active Somewhat active Active
48 years 1,200–1,400 calories 1,400–1,600 calories 1,400–1,800 calories
9 – 13 years 1,600–2,000 calories 1,600–2,000 calories 1,800–2,200 calories
14 – 18 years 1,800 calories 2,000 calories 2,400 calories

 

Macronutrients 

Macronutrient Estimated percentage
Carbohydrates 60%
Protein fifteen%
Greases 25%

 

Carbohydrates Fruit carbohydrates Protein Greases
Oats Grapefruit Eggs Linen
Sweet potatoes Apples Chicken breast Almonds
Integral rice Blueberries Salmon (Alaskan wild) Avocado
Hot multigrain Cantaloupe Turkey breast Olive oil
White potatoes with skin Oranges Canned albacore tuna Walnuts
100% wheat bread Bananas Nuts Virgin coconut oil
100% wheat pasta Peaches Pumpkin seeds Salmon (wild fish)
Vegetables grapes Tofu Peanuts
Hot rice cream Strawberries Fillet (grass veal) Clarified butter
Quinoa Pineapple Churrasco (grass veal) Ripe olives
Couscous Blackberries Cod Peanut oil
pumpkin Plums Greek yogurt Hemp seed oil
Zucchini Pears Rainbow trout Walnuts
Fresh beets Acai berries Broccoli Greek yogurt
Mango Prawns

 

Hydration

Weather Quantity
2 to 3 hours before exercise 1 whole bottle of water (600 mL)
15 minutes before exercise 1/3 to 2/3 of a bottle of (200 – 400 mL)
During exercise (every 15-20 minutes) 1/4 to ½ of a bottle of water (150 – 300 mL)
After exercise 2.5 bottles of water (1.5L)
Water (fluid) intake during the day Just over 4 bottles of water (2.6

 

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