Effective coaches not only teach students how to play a game, they maintain an awareness of how student athletes win with food, and teach young people good nutrition that lasts a lifetime.
Teens need to understand that just as you would not put traditional gasoline in a car that runs on diesel, they need to put the right foods in their bodies, particularly if they are athletes. Teens can buy and prepare their own food, but their parents are often responsible for providing regular food choices. So what to young athletes need to stay hydrated, satisfied, and able to achieve athletic performance?
According to dietitian Nancy Clark, writing in her Sports Nutrition Guide Book, “a survey of 50 collegiate football players reports they averaged 59% of their calories from sugars and fats.” Active teens may need 3,500 calories a day, and those calories need to be healthy foods and less sugar and fat.
There is no difference between what a student athlete eats on game day or on practice day. “You compete at your best if you train at your best, and you only train at your best if you’re well-fueled,” says Clark.