Saturday, July 24, 2010

Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes

Summer is here!!! What are children’s favorite part of summer? No school and lots of time to play. New sports are starting up; soccer, baseball, track and field, etc. All mothers are on high alert to make sure their young athletes are healthy and have a chance to reach their full potential while keeping them away from the junk food sitting out. So what can parents do to help their kids out during summer?

The most important thing to remember is to keep everyone in the family hydrated. During summer dehydration can lead to severe medical problems. Parents need to make sure their child has plenty to drink before, during, and after the game; even when a child is not thirsty they can become dehydrated. A dehydrated athlete is likely to collapse of the field and that is not a good way to win a game! Sports drinks are a great way to get water into your child while giving them other essentials such as electrolytes. Liquids in the body help to regulate the body temperature preventing overheating. Before a child gets on the field they should have one or two cups of a non-sugary drink. Sugar before a game can cause stomach cramps or nausea during any strenuous activities.

Certain vitamins can also improve an athlete’s abilities. Athletes of all ages need the following vitamins for healthy bone growth, endurance, wound healing, and tissue growth: B vitamins, Calcium, Iron, and Zinc. B vitamins help to metabolize the carbohydrates and proteins that all athletes need to have in their diet. Calcium, as we have all been taught, helps with bone growth. Children’s bones are not as sturdy as adult athletes therefore they should receive 1,300 mg of calcium per day in children between the ages of 9 and 18. Iron carries oxygen in the blood through the body thus allowing the different parts of the body to work better. Children between 9 and 13 should receive 8 mg of iron per day. After 13 boys and girls need for oxygen changes. Boys 14-18 need 11 mg and girls in the same age range need 9 mg. Zinc heals wounds, helps with tissue growth and improves immune function. When a child becomes an athlete their body changes therefore consequently they may not get enough zinc in their daily intake. Athletes between 9 and 13 need 8 mg of zinc per day. Boys 14-18 need 11 mg; girls 14-18 should get 9 mg. If you are not sure that your child is getting what they need the best thing to do is ask your child’s doctor about starting a broad spectrum and mineral supplement.

Carbohydrates are essential to the diet of any athlete; they provide energy for the body and the brain while helping to maintain the blood-sugar level. Protein, used in the body to maintain and build muscles is also important especially while training for the sport(s) of choice. Fat is also important but it should be healthy fat not the type received from junk foods. Fat is an energy source. Healthy fats come from plants; some of the best places to get these fats are in nuts, olives and avocados. The fat in fries and processed foods should be limited but they are still needed in the body. It is advised that carbohydrates, proteins, and healthy fats be taken into the body 2-4 hours before beginning any sports. This time allows the food to begin breaking down and giving the athlete what they need in the game. During the game the athlete should eat a snack that will give them what they need especially if the game lasts longer than a few hours. After the game the child needs to replenish the carbohydrates and protein within a half hour of the finish of the game.

Sponsored by "The Best of Nature. The Best of Science”. We are a all Organic and Environmentally Safe company we carry Health, Beauty and Home Products for are family and friends. Come join us to help protected are world.

No comments: