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4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

Young athletes should understand the importance of the below in order to be able to identify when, what and how much they should consume to maximize their athletic performance.General dietary rule to increase the athletic performance:

"Healthy balanced-diet + proper meal planning + adequate hydration”.

Priority should be given to:

1. Coverage increased energy needs (consume food every 2-3 hours).

2. Proper selection of healthy carbohydrate snacks before, during and after training/match.

3. Adequate hydration.

Maximising Sports Performance »

Meal planning on training days:

Breakfast, the most important meal of the day:

  • Provisioning energy and nutrients in the body and activating metabolism (breaking the overnight fast and starting brain's and body's function).
  • Increase the athletic performance (adequate energy for high trainings' requirements).
  • Maintaining healthy body weight (skip breakfast -> overeating throughout the day).

Examples of healthy breakfast:

  1. Low-fat milk/yogurt + whole grains cereals + honey/fruit
  2. Whole wheat bread + peanut butter + honey/sugar-free jam + low-fat milk
  3. Whole wheat toast (low-fat cheese, turkey, vegetables) + fresh juice/fruit
  4. Whole wheat bread + honey/sugar-free jam without sugar + boiled egg + few unsalted nuts
4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

Snack at school:

  • Reduction of hunger between breakfast and lunch and maintaining healthy body weight (skipping snacks -> overeating afterwards).
  • Provisioning energy and nutrients in the body (as well as breakfast).
  • Preparing from home (healthier and more nutritious options than in the school's canteen).

Examples of healthy school snacks:

  1. Fruit + few unsalted nuts
  2. Whole wheat toast (low-fat cheese, turkey, vegetables) + fresh juice/fruit
  3. Coarsely chopped raw vegetables + whole wheat rusks/bread
  4. Healthy homemade cake (without sugar and butter)
4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

Lunch (3-4 hours before the training):

  • High in carbohydrates (increase muscles' and liver's glycogen stores), moderate in protein and low in fat and simple sugars (easily digestible to avoid gastrointestinal problems).

Examples of lunch meals:

  1. Whole wheat pasta/Noodles + minced chicken with fresh tomato + salad
  2. Fish + brown rice/potato + salad/grilled vegetables
  3. Omelette + brown rice/whole wheat bread + salad/grilled vegetables
  4. Chicken fillet + sweet potato/orzo + salad/grilled vegetables
4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

1st afternoon snack (1-2 hours before the training if there is adequate time):

  • High carbohydrate snack (energy) with minimal protein, fat and fiber (easily digestible to avoid gastrointestinal problems).

Examples of afternoon snacks:

  1. Fruit/fresh juice + few unsalted nuts
  2. Low fat yogurt + fruit/honey
  3. White bread + peanut butter + honey/sugar-free jam

2nd afternoon snack (5-10 minutes before the training):

  • Small snack with simple carbohydrates (immediately digestible for energy).

Examples of small snack (in order of priority):

  1. Fruit/juice without fibers
  2. Cereal bar with low calories (<100kcals)
  3. Carbohydrate gel
4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

During the training:

  • Small snack with simple carbohydrates when training lasts >60 minutes (immediately assimilable to maintain energy during training).

Examples of small snack (in order of priority):

  1. Fruit/Diluted fruit juice
  2. Isotonic drink with carbohydrates and electrolytes
  3. Carbohydrate gel

Snack immediately after training (5-60 minutes):

  • Small snack with simple carbohydrates - protein (immediate recovery of muscles & muscle glycogen).

Examples of small snack immediately after training (in order of priority):

  1. Low fat yogurt/milk + fruit/honey
  2. Whole wheat rusks/rice cakes + honey + low-fat milk

Shake/bar with protein and carbohydrates

4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

Dinner (1-3 hours after training):

  • Complete meal with all food groups (muscle glycogen replenishment and as well as the lost nutrients - necessary for the development of a young athlete).
  • Similar composition as lunch (high in carbohydrates and moderate in protein-fat).

Examples of healthy dinner:

  1. Options of lunch
  2. Healthy homemade pizza in the oven (tomato sauce + low-fat cheese + turkey/chicken + vegetables)
  3. Whole wheat fajitas pita + chicken/tuna + avocado sauce with low-fat yogurt + vegetables
  4. Lean pork/beef steak + brown rice/sweet potato + low-fat yogurt + salad
  5. Oven meatballs with minced pork/chicken + bulgur + low-fat yogurt + salad

Salad with eggs/chicken/tuna + potato/whole wheat penne pasta + avocado + vegetables + olive oil

4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes

Maximising Sports Performance »

Adequate hydration and proper planning on training days:

Fluids intake is very important for an athlete as his performance can be affected by what, how much and when he drinks.

Water: Necessary nutrient for athletes (maintaining body temperature & avoiding dehydration).

Proper hydration: Daily fluids requirements (depending on age, body weight and environmental temperature) and adequate fluids intake before, during and after training.

  • Recommended Daily Intake (RDI) for children 9-13 years: boys 2.4L/day, girls 2.1L/d.
  • RDI for children 14-18 years: boys 3.3L/d, girls 2.3L/d.

Before, during and after each training, all athletes should consume the proper amount of fluids:

PROPER AMOUNT OF FLUIDS ON TRAINING DAYS

Before training

During training

After training

When?

2-3 hours

30 minutes

Every 15-20 minutes

Immediately after or

as soon as possible

How much?

400-600ml

200-400ml

150-200ml

450-675ml for every 0.5kg of body weight loss

What?

Cold water

Cold water

Water, isotonic drink with carbohydrates-electrolytes*

Water, low-fat milk,

fruit/vegetable juice, smoothies

* Isotonic drink: Not every day - only during training sessions last for 1 hour or longer.

Easy and simple way to detect dehydration: Urine color control - the lighter color, the more hydrated is someone, the darker, the more dehydrated.

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The target should be the color of the numbers 1, 2 or 3.

The color of the numbers 4 and 5 indicates dehydration.

The color of the numbers 6, 7 and 8 indicates severe dehydration.

4.Nutrition guide to Maximize athletic performance of young athletes