We all know that children learn most of their habits from their parents. Good or bad, children absorb their parents' habits, mannerisms and dietary knowledge because that’s all they know. If you have a young athlete it is especially important that you instill nutritious eating habits into their life so that they are able to perform at their best.
When it comes to nutrition for your young athlete there are many common mistakes that parents can make. Let’s debunk the myths of fueling athletes.
Myth 1 - You need to “Carb-Up”
Getting ready for a big game day you may think it’s best to give your kids a carb-heavy meal right before they go… this will only hinder their performance. Carbs take longer to digest and eating them too close to being active (within 2 hours) is likely to slow them down.
You don’t need to follow some scientific method of “x” grams of carbs per pound of body weight. Keep it simple. The night before AND 3-4 hours before performing sports activities they should have slightly higher carb intake than usual.
Myth 2 - They are “young” It doesn't matter what they eat
Many times parents think that since kids have a faster metabolism they can eat junk and "get away with it" because they are young. The part most parents are forgetting is that young adults also need lots of protein in their diet. Protein is a macronutrient... meaning it is needed for your body to function, recover, and build muscle!
Building muscle is something many athletes don’t focus on until it’s too late. At the high school level many coaches don’t emphasize it enough, but it is extremely important! The formula for building muscle is actually simple, strength training and protein consumption. Are your kids working out at the gym? If so, they need to be consuming protein right after their workouts to see proper results. They can achieve this by having a meal containing a protein source (chicken, beef, fish or turkey) or they can use a protein powder if they are on-the-go and need a quick option.
Myth 3 - Water is enough
First things first... supplements are NOT necessary, but many parents are not familiar with the benefits they can provide. One of the products we highly recommend to all athletes are R1 Train BCAA's. Not only does this product contain BCAA's that will help with recovery, it also contains coconut powder which is great for hydration! It comes in so many different flavors for you to pick from that even the pickiest kids will find one they love.
You can help your young athlete perform and feel better on and off the field with the help of your friends at 95 Nutrition. From healthy meals to protein snacks and supplements we're here to help make fueling your children a breeze!