Youth Athlete Nutrition And Growth – Factors Of Sports Nutrition


What is more important in the case of an athlete? Training is important, sleep is important, and breaks are important. What about nutrition? Getting the right nutrition at the right age and the right time is important in the life of an athlete. Especially in the case of young athletes. As they are still growing and their body is still developing, they need access to the right nutrition. 

Let us look more into it.

Youth Athlete Nutrition and Growth: Are They Related?

Sports nutrition is a necessity for young athletes. This is the food that contains nutrients that focus on the athletes and provide sports-specific support. If you are a runner you should focus on the health of muscles and bones in the leg, more than anything else. If you are a tennis player or golfer, you must also focus on the health of your hands. 

Let us see the connection between youth athlete nutrition and growth:

The bodies of young athletes are still growing. During this age, the bones grow faster than the muscles and tendons surrounding them. These can cause growth-related injuries. Therefore, it is necessary to support the growth happening in the body, related to bones, muscles, and tendons. 

Sports Nutrition For Young Athletes:

  • Can support the growth of young athletes
  • Helps to fasten the process of growth
  • Strengthens the body
  • Helps them to finish the training session
  • Provides endurance in the training sessions
  • It helps them to not run out of energy 
  • Can prevent growth-related injuries
  • Comparatively faster recovery from injuries 
Sports Nutrition For Young Athletes

Inevitable Factors Of Sports Nutrition In Young Athletes

  1. Protein
  2. Carbohydrates
  3. Fat

Why Do Athletes Need Protein?

Protein helps in the growth and development of new tissues. It also helps to repair the damage that has occurred to the muscles during the workout, training, or due to overuse. 

Why Do Athletes Need Carbohydrates?

Carbohydrates support your training sections. When you are working out and training a lot, taking carbohydrates can be helpful as it provides energy to the muscles, more towards the end of the workout sessions. It can also support your performance. 

Why Do Athletes Need Fat?

Fat is the main source that provides energy to athletes for all kinds of workouts and training sessions. It increases the rate of metabolism to burn more energy, especially during strength training exercises. 

Proteins For Athletes

  • Chicken breast
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Quinoa

Carbohydrates For Athletes

  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain pasta
  • Oats

Fats For Athletes

  • Avocado
  • Olive oil
  • Chia seeds
  • Sunflower seeds
  • Flax seeds
  • Nuts
  • Nut butter

What Else Is There In Sports Nutrition In The Case Of Young Athletes

  • Grains – Buckwheat, barley, oatmeal 
  • Vegetables – Brussels sprouts, spinach, kale, broccoli, sweet potato, peas
  • Fruits – Banana, kiwi, blueberry, apple, grapes, pineapple, watermelon 
  • Dairy (low fat) – Low-fat yogurt, low-fat cottage cheese
  • Lean proteins – lentils, lean ground turkey, lean cuts of beef, lean cuts of pork

Read More:- Speed And Agility Training For Athletes: The Ultimate Guide

The Bottom Line

In youth athletes nutrition and growth are two interconnected factors. When there are not enough nutrients in the diet, it can interrupt growth. There are various options for non-veg eaters, veg eaters, and also for vegans, when you make the diet plan for yourself make sure that it suits you and your habits. 

To support growth nutrition is needed, especially in the case of young athletes. Growing up is the right age to equip yourself with the right amounts of nutrients. Do not hesitate to get help from a nutritionist or a sports nutrition expert. 


Q. What are the nutrition guidelines for youth sports?

The nutrition requirement for youth sports can contain 10 to 30 percent of proteins, 45 to 65 percent of carbohydrates with 25 to 35 percent of fats. 

Q. What should a 15 year old female athlete eat?

15-year-old female athletes should have a meal plan that is rich in proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Typically, they can intake approximately 2,200 to 2,400 calories per day. 

Q. What is a high protein diet for a 14 year old boy?

A 14-year-old boy can take a lot of dairy products, eggs, and meat as a high-protein diet. He can also include hemp seeds, soy, quinoa, and tofu in his diet plan.

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Dr. David G Kiely is a distinguished Medical Reviewer and former General Medicine Consultant with a wealth of experience in the field. Dr. Kiely's notable career as a General Medicine Consultant highlights his significant contributions to the medical field.

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