Teen Athletes and Nutrition

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Teenage athletes have special nutritional needs. Dr. Edward Hill shares some tips about how to keep your teenage athlete geared in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Teen athletes have unique nutrition needs. They generally need extra calories to fuel both their sports performance and their growth. Depending on how active they are, teen athletes may need anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 total calories per day to meet their energy needs.

So what happens if teen athletes dont eat enough? Their bodies are less likely to achieve peak performance and may even break down rather than build up muscles. Athletes who dont take in enough calories every day wont be as fast and as strong as they could be.

You may have heard about carb loading before a game. But when it comes to powering your game for the long haul, its a bad idea to focus on only one type of food. Carbohydrates are an important source of fuel, but theyre only one of many foods an athlete needs. Eating a balanced diet, including lots of different fruits and vegetables, should provide the vitamins and minerals needed for good health and sports performance.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.