Do Teenagers need more nutrition to fuel their busy bodies?

Did you know that our teenagers have different requirements in regards to their hydration and energy, than adults? How can we support the growth & development of our teens along side supporting their energy and hydration with training and sport. Teenagers are both growing and hormones are changing and this leads to an increased need for vitamins and minerals. Add to this the extra sport they play and stress they can be under with study, many teens are not getting adequate nutrition for their needs. Exercise is great for teen health improving mental health and decreasing stress, brain health improves learning along with enhanced gut health.


Teenagers;

  • Use more energy per kilogram than adults, relying on fats for fuel as they have lower stores of energy. This also means they may need more healthy fats but also more carbohydrate during intense exercise.

  • They do not regulate temperature as efficiently.

  • They may need more carbohydrates during sport than adults.

  • They need extra energy for sport but also their growth and development.

  • They often need more snacks along side larger meals to cope with demands.


Fuel for sport -

  • Small carbohydrate snack pre-training such as a banana, dates, grapes, apple, fruit muffins, honey & oat bars or juice.

  • Recovery eating within the first hour after training or game with protein and banana shake, yogurt & granola, banana, nut butter on toast/rice cake with fruit, honey & oat bars.

  • Meals and snacks should consist of a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein.


Hydration for sport - Most teens (80%) arrive to training or sport hypo-hydrated and this is important as it leads to further dehydration along with core temperature rising quicker.

So, what to do?

  • Add some cordial or a flavoured tea to water as this will increase consumption by up to 50%.

  • Get your teen drinking in the morning or on the way to sport.

  • Allow time for them to drink fluids during training or a game.

  • Electrolyte drinks may be beneficial for high intensity sport or training that is more than 45minutes long and are best consumed before and during not after.

Many teens if they have an inadequate diet or do extreme amount of exercise may need supplementation, such as Iron, Zinc, Calcium, Vitamin D, Iodine, Magnesium, Omega 3 and probiotics. Our teens are not just smaller adults and we need to look at their individual needs and circumstances.


In health & happiness,

Kirsty



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