When parents come in to talk with us about what to feed their kids, one of their first questions, and this is almost a guarantee, is “What supplements should I get?” Before they even finish this sentence the answer is always a quick “NONE!” Athletes every level, especially prepubescent and those going through puberty need to focus on a whole food diet. I’m not saying that you have to buy everything organic, but the more whole and natural the food, the easier it is for your body to break down and absorb the nutrients. Your muscles, tendons, and ligaments are only going to be as healthy as what you feed them. Every time you compete, train, or exercise your tissues become damaged. Poor nutrition causes more damage, and makes the rebuilding of new tissue more difficult. Obviously the opposite it true of a healthy whole food diet. If you supply your tissues with the optimum material they don’t break down as easy, and the rebuilding process is quicker, and the tissues become much stronger. Healthy eating is still very important for non-athletes, but even more so when you are constantly breaking down and repairing tissue. Improper nutrition can result in still muscles and joints, decreased energy, slower muscle recovery, and inability to sleep.
For most people, athlete or not, it seems that eating fruits and veggies are the most difficult to include in their daily diet. It doesn’t matter what time of day, or what meal you are having, they are essential! Yes that means veggies for breakfast! We have found the easiest way to help someone change their eating habits is by helping them to recognize where they are lacking. We give each client a small notebook to log his or her daily meals. If it goes in their mouth, it goes down in the book. Each time they come in we look over each day, the benefit of this is two-fold. It helps us both to see where the eating issues lie, and they begin to second-guess themselves on I they really want that soda, chips, or fried food. Typically a client only records their meals for two weeks. By then we have begun to establish good eating habits. This coupled with our training programs continue to motivate our athletes to always evaluate what they are putting into their bodies, because they understand their improvement is largely based upon how and what they eat. Portion sizes for proteins and carbs are dictated by the desired weight. Obviously the more an athlete needs to weight, the more they need to each. For general fitness clients we follow it the same way. You really shouldn’t limit yourself to how many fruits and veggies you consume, your body can’t get enough!
If you are in need of additional help with special cases, please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will do our best to help.Sean England General Manager / Performance Specialist CAMP, Building Better Athletes LLC