When it comes to sports nutrition, we all know that protein plays a big part in helping athletes with their muscle growth and recovery, this is particularly more important for young ones as they go through growth spurts. The next most important macro nutrition that parents tend to concentrate on, of course is carb consumption so that their young athlete gets their much-needed energy whilst training hard.
How do the nutritional needs of younger athlete differ to that of adults? What other nutrition is essential to support their sports activity?
Common belief is protein, protein, protein! But protein alone isn't adequate. When body's energy stores are depleted during intense exercise it is especially important to re-synthesize glycogen stores that were lost during the exercise. Thus, carb consumption post workout is equally important post exercise, ideally within 1 hour.
Carbohydrates plays a vital role in relation to physical performance during all types of exercise, especially for endurance activity, lasting longer than one hour. The report by the Scientific Committee on 'Food on composition for Athletes’, particularly recommends carb rich energy foods post exercise.
The two factors that have been considered to contribute most to the onset of fatigue in exercise, are the depletion of the body's carbohydrate reserve and the onset of dehydration, as a consequence of the loss of water and electrolytes in sweat. During prolonged exercise food and drinks containing carbohydrates and electrolytes, in particular sodium, improve the performance.
The American College of Sports Medicine and American Dietetic Association’s recommendations for young athletes suggest at least 50% of a young athlete’s diet should be in the form of carbohydrate or between 3 and 8 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass dependent primarily on exercise intensity.
Young people have different body weight to adults – they need different levels of nutrients - The American College of Sports Medicine and American Dietetic Association recommend intakes between 1.2 and 1.8 g/kg of body mass for youth athletes. They don't need the levels of protein consumed by adults. Consuming too much protein can make children feel constipated and uncomfortable which is turn might affect their performance.
We were surprised to hear from parents that they have offered adult protein bars to their children. We certainly won't recommend this, as adult protein bars may have too much protein that isn't suitable for younger people. Further it may contain certain ingredients which may be harmful for children or contain artificial sweeteners that can play havoc with glucose levels. Young people's digestive system are less mature and thus nutrition needs to be in easy to absorb forms.
The recommendations for young athletes suggest at least 50% of young athletes diet should be in the form of carbohydrate or between 3 and 8 grams of carbohydrate per kilogram of body mass dependent primarily on exercise intensity.
Other essential Micro Nutrition that supports performance
Phosphorus, Magnesium, Potassium, & Manganese are all considered as key micro nutrition that specifically support energy production, reduction of fatigue, provide electrolyte balance in helping body’s hydration and iron transport.
Therefore, choose foods that contain these key nutrients. Some ideas are below:
Breakfast can include Scrambled Eggs on Toast – always a winner (Or even egg and soldiers), Protein Pancakes (Check out our recipe book), Porridge topped with nuts, seeds, or goji berries (Our favourite is ProYouth Bars topping as per our recipe book), Nutty Muesli, wholegrain muffins,
Lunch and dinner ideas can include grilled Chicken wraps in wholemeal pitta with salad filling, Smoked salmon Bagel (With squeeze of lemon) and cream cheese, Pasta with tuna etc.
A great night-time snack is Greek yogurt which contains slow-release casein protein – this topped with ProYouth bars will certainly have you all prepped and fuelled for the next day’s training.
To ensure adequate energy, fuel young athletes with foods that they will enjoy eating like yogurts, bananas, rice cakes with peanut or almond butter (if they have no nut allergy or intolerance) which are nutrient rich. Fruit and nut Granola with yogurt provide a nice crunch and taste. Whole meal bread with good quality Manuka honey makes a popular choice in some of our ProYouth family households.
To help educate and Fuel our Little Rider Army we have teamed up with ProYouth who create delicious nutritious bars for youth sports.
So, who are ProYouth?
UK'S FIRST NATURAL PERFORMANCE NUTRITION - FOR ACTIVE YOUTH
Formulated with experts specifically for Active Youths!
At ProYouth, we are on a mission for healthy nutrition starting from grassroots. Working alongside Applied Sciences Scientists and Nutritional Experts, we have created a range of nourishing snack bars to support the diverse needs of adolescents - supporting energy, cognitive function, recovery, and immune function.
Not another Protein bar – Science backed health benefits!
We invest and differentiate through science and research. We carefully chose our Macronutrients (protein, carbs, and good fats) and micronutrients (vital vitamins and minerals) essential for optimising performance. That is why our bars are a source of Carbs for energy, Proteins for muscle synthesis, Magnesium for bones and electrolyte balance, Vitamin B12 for healthy oxygen flow, brain and immune function and further health benefits of Manganese, Copper, Phosphorus, Potassium.
Gut friendly and Packed with Flavour!
Not a diminished version of adult formulas but specially designed to meet the nutritional and digestive profiles of youth.
High quality ingredients with Natural goodness
Our bars are packed with fresh and clean produce, from superfood seeds, nuts, and whole fruits.
Long term health is our priority - No Nasties!
We do not use fillers, palm oil, refined sugars and artificial sweeteners which can lead to long term detrimental impact on bodies. We believe that what you keep out of your body is as crucial as what you put in.
"Finally, a convenient snack on the go the whole family can enjoy!"