NUTRITION FOR TEEN ATHLETES

Posted in: Sports Nutrition  on Wednesday, April 11, 2012
By: Chad Case

Through my travels serving the National Football Academy (NFA)as the Director of Nutrition, what has become very apparent to me is that, in general, there is a definite nutritional void when it comes to breakfast. My mission with athletes in the NFA is simple: to help them understand exactly when, why and what to eat, and to make sure they are on a safe supplement regimen. Overwhelmingly, the majority of athletes I counsel struggle at breakfast when it comes to getting the right nutrients into their bodies.

We have all been told that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Therefore, an athlete should treat it as such – it should never be skipped and we should always have a plan. Simply by not eating breakfast or choosing one with little nutritional value, these athletes miss the first step in becoming a better athlete and student. Just like a practice is an opportunity to get better, a meal is an opportunity to put the right nutrients into their system to maximize growth, recovery and performance. If they skip a meal or eat poorly, they miss an opportunity.

Breakfast means “breaking the fast.” Literally, that is what a person does when eating breakfast – breaking up the “fasting” state of the body from the overnight. Depending on what time the last meal of the evening was, this fast could be 10 to 12 hours long. If an athlete skips breakfast, the body and brain have to go without food for up to 19 hours! This is far too long for a person to go without eating and still be at the optimum of performance, growth and development.

This struggle to crack the code on breakfast could be due to a number of factors: lack of time, lack of nutritional education or simply not realizing the importance of fueling their body properly.

Notice those words: fueling their body. The key message I try to drive home to each and every athlete is that food is fuel. It makes perfect sense when you rationally think about it. Food provides us calories and nutrients that literally drive the machines we know as our bodies. It’s like gas for a car: feed the car cheap gas with additives and most likely the car runs, but not as well as it could. Fuel your body improperly and your body will function, but nowhere near its full potential.

I’ve yet to encounter an athlete who wants to perform poorly or who doesn’t want to boost performance. So desire is not the issue: it comes down to practical and simple solutions.

When Athlete’s Choice released its first product, Pro 360, it immediately became a big hit in my home with my children, in my stores and with athletes I work across the country, as it was a perfect solution to incorporate into breakfast. With moms and dads trying to get ready for work, kids getting ready for school, time is of the essence in the morning. Depending on age and weight, 2-3 scoops of Pro 360 with skim/1 percent milk paired with a low-sugar bowl of cereal make for an incredibly healthy and simple solution.

This type of start to the day ensures we are feeding not only athletes’ muscles, but their brains as well. Adding a quality nutritional product like Pro 360 helps to improve cognitive function for these student athletes on a daily basis. Additionally, Pro 360 is 100 percent natural free of artificial sweeteners, is NCAA compliant and is banned substance free.

If you are looking for a delicious alternative to help your young athlete start their day off right, stop into any Max Muscle Sports Nutrition and learn more about Pro 360 by Athlete’s Choice. Athlete’s Choice is the Official Nutritional Product of the National Football Academies.

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At the National Football Academy, the mission is simple, to provide the absolute best in regards to development as an athlete and as a young man. Our combination of qualified and certified coaching staff provides industry leading instruction for all positions in football, the best in strength and conditioning, as well as a Certified Nutritionist on staff to provide in-depth nutritional education and safe supplement advise providing the ultimate blueprint to what you are looking for in athletic development. Fore More Information: www.nationalfootballacademies.com.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Chad Case is a multi-unit Max Muscle Franchisee in Nebraska, Regional Director and serves as the National Director of Nutrition for the National Football Academies. To learn more about the NFA please visit www.nationalfootballacademies.com. To learn more about Pro 360 by Athlete’s Choice, please visit www.theathleteschoice.net.