3 Rules For Youth Athlete Nutrition

Nov 6, 2022

 by Stephen Conca

3 Rules For Youth Athlete Nutrition 

The last thing you want is to have your student-athlete fall off the wagon when they perform.

All the conditioning, all the strength training, and all the preparation cannot be fully maximized unless the body is properly fueled.

The simple analogy that everyone has heard before is that when you have a great sports car with a super high output engine, and you put crappy gas in that engine, yes the car will run, but not nearly at the high level it was built for.  The human body works the same way. 

We know the way most kids eat, and if left to their own fruition, it would not be good. So as parents or guardians we need to take these steps to help our young athletes perform at their very best.

Here are three simple rules to live by if you have kids.

Rule #1

A protein at every meal 

A carbohydrate at every meal

A vegetable at every meal

A good fat at every meal

This will help to avoid junk food cravings.

So what does that setup look like?  Contact us below and we’ll send you a FREE guide to set your plate up and give you some helpful suggestions on what to do for each category. 

Rule #2 ( before and after practice)

About an hour before a game or practice consume a small shake with twice as many carbs as protein.  These carbs should be fast absorbing so they get in and out of the gut, into the bloodstream and naturally bring energy levels up. There should be no synthetic elements to this, meaning no extra caffeine, no Red Bull, Monster, or other types of energy drinks. 

Why liquid? Food can be used, however, when on the run, a quick smoothie can give an athlete a delicious and nutrient-packed snack that is rapidly absorbed and not left in the stomach. 

After practice, the same goal applies. See if you can keep this window to under 60min. Amino acids come from a protein source, and when amino acids and exercise converge around exercise, good things happen.  The enzymes to rebuild the muscle tissue are so high after a workout that the use of carbs and some protein (amino acids) are present those enzymes will rapidly uptake these nutrients and start the process of repairing and rebuilding.  This window of opportunity decreases over time.  The metabolic window for optimal uptake passes around the 45-60 min mark.  Another metabolic window opens later in the day but it won’t be at the same level as immediately after a workout.  

Rule #3

Every day, just like when they were in their mother’s womb, and for the rest of their life take a functional-level grade multivitamin and fish oil. Kids, and adults for that matter, are simply not getting the full spectrum of micro-nutrients from their current diet, and getting enough Omega 3’s (I don’t know many kids that eat 4 servings of oily fish per week).  

The name of the game is better overall health, recovery, preventing injuries, and staying alert in school. By having the right amount of micronutrients and omega-3‘s you can be assured that their cells are all running as efficiently as possible.

This is a very simple and inexpensive routine every college and pro athlete follows. 

All of my kids have been following this simple routine since they started playing sports.  

As a dad and coach, I understand the challenges of dealing with nutrition and my own kids.  

If you a nutrition coach to help you help your kids build better habits, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us.  This is exactly what we do and have been doing for over 2 decades. 

You can email us at Contact@ConcaSportAndfitness.com or send a text to 413-350-3885