Nutrition and Recovery, Keeping your Athletes Strong and Healthy – Published by Jake Renaud, CSCS
Nutrition and Recovery are critical aspects of long term athletic development that are often overlooked. As the physical demands of sport increase with age and competitive level, it’s important that we take a few simple steps to keep our athletes healthy, happy and recovered! With just a few basic guidelines we can make a significant impact on our children’s health, and athletic future. Here are some things to think about as your athletes
Nutrition: Eat real food, all day. The majority of athletes, particularly at the high school level simply need to eat more food, and real food. Along with at least three balanced meals a day, athletes should also be eating around their workout or practice. Having some chocolate milk, ora granola bar directly after a workout, or even before, is a critical step in starting the recovery process.
Sleep: Our kids need 8 hours, minimum. During periods of hard training, they probably need more. At least 8, and catching up on weekends doesn’t work. It needs to be consistent a regular
Soft Tissue: It’s important that athletes develop a consistent routine of total body foam rolling and soft tissue work. This goes a long way in keeping muscles and joints healthy and strong to avoid injuries!
Offseason: Every sport needs and off-season. A 10 year old should not play the same sport 12 months out of the year, unless we want them to quite in high school. Multi-sport athletes, with appropriate off-seasons are set up for long term success.
Taking these steps to encourage recovery and reduce overuse and burnout can make a significant positive impact on an athletes long term development. Remember that 8 and 12 year olds are not professional athletes, therefore they should not be treated like them. Youth sport should first be fun, playing multiple sport, and most of all athletes want to be supported, not pressured by their parents. Let the coaches do the coaching, and I promise you child will love you for it.