Monday, May 6, 2013

How to Feed Your Young Athlete

Proper nutrition can keep active children nourished and healthy — and even give them an athletic advantage. The key to peak performance is whole foods.

Children holding tennis rackets
The key to peak performance is whole foods.

Faster than the Flash, stronger than a Lego fortress, more powerful than a Jedi mind trick, who is this super being? It’syouryoung athlete, courtesy of a healthy nutrition plan tailored to unleash their awesome potential.

Proper nutrition can keep active children nourished and healthy — and even give them an athletic advantage. The key to peak performance is whole foods.

Pre-game

About 3 hours before a game or competition, offer an energy-boosting meal to top off glycogen levels (muscle sugar). This could be peanut butter on a banana with toast, or a turkey sandwich and pita chips, plus at least two cups of water. Keep the meal low in fiber and fat, as these take longer to break down and may not be digested by game time.

An hour before competition, add a smaller snack. Consider half of a natural granola bar, homemade trail mix, or a small fruit smoothie.

During Exercise

If exercise lasts longer than an hour, a serving of juicy fruit like orange wedges, melon slices or grapes can help extend energy. About five to nine ounces of water should be consumed for every 15-20 minutes of activity.

Post-game

Tired muscles crave nourishment. Within 30 minutes, have a snack that includes carbohydrates with a little bit of protein to boost recovery. This could be whole grain crackers with cheese and fruit or pita bread and hummus. The next big meal should occur within two hours of the game and offer more lean protein (fish, eggs, chicken or lentils), whole grain carbs (quinoa, brown rice or whole-wheat pasta) and veggies to assist with muscle repair and energy replenishment. And don’t forget water!

The more quality whole foods your champion consumes, the more they can shine during competition. Practice makes perfect. Start your winning meal plan today!

--By Liz Oba, Bastyr dietetic intern, and Debra Boutin, MS, RD, chair and dietetic internship director, Department of Nutrition and Exercise Science at Bastyr University.

Subscribe to Newsletters

CAPTCHA
This question is for testing whether you are a human visitor and to prevent automated spam submissions.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.

More Health Tips

Here are some ways to eat an inexpensive and well-balanced diet consisting of many nutritious whole foods.

Here's how to create a healthy posture to improve your health.

The main benefit of the Paleo diet is that it promotes eating whole, nutritious foods while avoiding refined, processed foods.

While tax season can be daunting and stressful, these are simple, easy ways to help lighten the load.

Behind the calm exterior of a doula is a person who is constantly thinking, strategizing and endeavoring to create an environment to support a pregnant, birthing or postpartum family.

With the recent buzz about gluten- and wheat-free diets, it’s good to know how they compare and if they’re right for everyone.

Events

Apr 16

Deepen your understanding of the interconnectedness between energy and healing. Engage the four levels of your being and experience flow as you fuel your body and feed your soul with the Elemental Healing™ Method. Our energy body codes our experiences in its energetic architecture where there is a complete record of all our past experiences and emotional wounds. Healing those wounds is one of the primary rewards of one’s Inner Journey.
April 16, 23 & 30, Wed, 6-9p.m.
Instructor: Lauren Nalder, BSc.
(8 CEUs, PDAs)

Apr 16 Community Ed

Yoga is a way into life. Develop greater awareness of your body's strengths and challenges through yoga. Using the yoga postures (asana) appropriately, we can bring more freedom and peace into our bodies and minds. Working with the breath (pranayama), we can cultivate stillness and strength.
April 16 – June 18, Wednesdays, 6-7:15p.m.
Heidi Fischer, Certified Yoga Teacher.
12.5 HRs

Apr 17 Admissions

Bastyr University will be in Chicago to help you learn about the amazing opportunities that await you at Bastyr.

Student & Alumni Profiles

Coquina Deger, MBA, and David Siebert fill key roles as part of President’s Cabinet

Herbal sciences students cook up foods with love -- and health-giving herbs -- in a popular lab class.

The actor and author joins us for a Q-and-A before her May 22 talk at Bastyr's Spring for Health Luncheon.

Spring 2014: There is a lot blossoming at Bastyr University

A mysterious illness transformed Priya Walia's vision of medicine and gave her a plan for her future.

Press

Bastyr University Nutrition Faculty Member Receives Prestigious State Honor

The public is invited to a free community event to explore Bastyr University’s teaching clinic

Teaching clinic earns second consecutive year of stellar results in regional patient satisfaction survey

In the Media

FOX Q13: Bastyr University's Ellie Freeman Discusses the FDA’s New Food Labels
Bothell-Kenmore Reporter: Bastyr Center for Natural Health Expands Integrative Oncology Services
Puget Sound Business Journal: Bastyr University's President Daniel Church to Retire