Youth athletes juggle practice and competitions year round. Throwing performance training into the mix creates an additional demand on their growing bodies. Nutritional demands become critical in building lean body mass, and being able to compete and train at a high level. Meeting nutrient recommendations from food alone can be a challenge, especially with a busy schedule. This is when supplements can be used to fill the gaps.
Many children have a diet lacking in vitamin A, vitamin C, folic acid, magnesium, and potassium. We are urged to feed our kids high quality sources of protein like lean meats, poultry, and fish, and additionally provide at least two servings of fruits and vegetables in every meal. While this is the recommendation, it is not always feasible when bouncing from school to practice to games.
The “food-first” approach should always take precedent when dealing with young athletes. However, here are some supplements that can help fill those nutritional gaps.
1. 100% Whey Protein Isolate—additional protein to support growth and recovery
2. Multivitamins—a collective source of vitamins and minerals
3. BCAAs (beta chain amino acids)—used for athletes trying to lose weight but also maintain lean muscle mass
A healthy, balanced diet is key to success in our young athletes. Instill these good habits now and see immense benefits in the future. If you or your child believes they should be using performance supplements, start a conversation with your coach. They can guide you to the products that best fit your needs, while also taking safe, precautionary measures.