Sports Nutrition Advice for Adolescent Athletes: A Time to Focus on Food

“Before bringing sport-specific advice into the conversation, the building blocks of healthy eating and nutritional adequacy must be in place.”

[Nutrition Review: Mary Ellen Bingham, MS, RD, CSSD, Mimi E. Borkan, and Paula A. Quatromoni, DSc, RD]

Health is one of the most crucial things in our lives, especially during adolescence. Teenagers’ bodies are changing rapidly, and it’s vital to make sure they are getting proper nutrition. Unfortunately, many young athletes often fall prey to bad habits when keeping up with their daily activity level. Still, if teens find effective ways to fuel their bodies, they can enjoy all that sports have to offer while avoiding adverse health effects.

All teens may not be the same, but their needs are pretty similar regarding nutrition. While adolescents need to eat for growth and development like everyone else, they also have sports or physical activity that can contribute to muscle gain or loss. According to the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), teens who exercise should focus on eating nutrient-dense foods with high caloric content like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and lean proteins.