Sports and nutrition are directly related to each other. Taking into consideration the fact that sports persons need more energy to carry out their sporting activity effectively, it becomes of prime importance to take care of the nutrition for sports performance. However when kids are involved as future athletes, careful planning and implementation is mandatory.
As far as the nutritional diet of sportsperson is concerned, there are lot many things that deserve proper attention like selection of foods, timing of meals, selection of nutrients, incorporation of supplements, hydration, pre-competition diet, during competition meal plan, training and preparatory phase diet, etc.
A well nourished junior athlete will be able to play better and for longer, stay mentally alert, and recover quicker from training and competition. The active child who is not getting enough total energy may become tired and lethargic, and even struggle to maintain their enjoyment in sport.
There are 3 basic rules we need to follow in the diet-
Based on this, different sports have different requirements of these nutrients in their diet. For broad understanding, the sports are grouped into specific category based upon its sporting type and its relative diet.
|SPORTS CATEGORY||DESCRIPTION||TYPE OF SPORTS||DIET TIPS|
|POWER SPORTS||These sports are played for Short period of time, require short energy bursts e.g. 50m sprint. Need excessive strength and physical power e.g. punch or box||Wrestling, Weight Lifting, Judo, Boxing, Swimming, Athletics||Focus on protein for muscle recovery and strength. Such as fish, chicken, eggs, paneer, curd, tofu. Also include carbohydrates for energy giving such as wheat, rice, pasta, noodles, bread.
Hydration is key because there isn’t excessive sweating in these sports but dehydration is still possible.
E.g of foods to include- cereal and milk, roti and vegetables with curd, chicken sandwich, fruits and lots of water
|ENDURANCE EVENTS||These sports are carried out for a longer time, covering a longer distance along with constant energy bursts e.g. tennis rallies go on for long time covering distance on the ground along with constant energy to hit the ball||Rowing, Badminton, Tennis, Table Tennis||This sport is played for a much longer time. Thus, it requires more energy especially from carbohydrates, so the diet can include poha, idlis, rice, upma, pasta, noodles, sandwich etc. Hydration is necessary to performance in these events, hence, water should be in high quantity sipped throughout the day (at least 2-3 liters)|
|SKILL SPORTS||These sports are more about concentration. Physical energy is not used||Shooting, Archery||These events do not require nutrition for energy sustenance. Hence, a balance of all nutrients is extremely important.|
|TEAM EVENTS||They can be combination of power sports and endurance sports.||Football, Cricket, Rowing, Field Hockey||In team sports, there is always a rest period for a player while playing. Hence the sport requires a combination of carbohydrates and proteins for sustained energy release and maximum recovery.|
If the required daily nutrition is met through food, in most cases, need for vitamin, mineral and fats are met automatically. Hence, any extra supplementation should be provided on consultation with a sports nutritionist.
This topic being specifically written for kids, where room for cheating is very high and temptations are unavoidable, a free eating hand should be allowed in phases of off season and on season. Every child has his favorite cheat meal, whatever that may be can always be planned and included in the diet.
Play Lots! Eat Well! Excel and Win!