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Optimal endurance for our Teenage Athletes

The more I research about sports nutrition for my teenage athletes I notice a consistent message - measurement of protein / carbohydrates and fats sources vary. The nutritional intake of these foods or the ability to absorb nutrition from them with all different levels of digestive ability is not taken into account in most cases.

This information is based upon my research and my athlete’s responses to Food as Medicine guidelines for their optimum performance, recovery, endurance and health!

Food needs to be able to fuel, Repair and build, Recover, keep stamina and endurance high and support high levels of energy requirements. We must also keep in mind that their body is growing and developing so excess nutrient dense foods are required.

With longer than 60minute training sessions this food must be eaten in the right proportions with the right minerals and protein to aid repair, sweat and recovery.

Remembering at all times each teenage athlete has a different metabolic ability to absorb nutrients; they may have a sensitive gut, excess mucous, inherent deficiency, inflammation and low vitamin and minerals that lead to cravings and mood swings. Inability to absorb different nutrients.

They may be a field player or Surf lifesaver competing and may need to eat whilst competing rather than able to sit and digest a meal prior to the race.

Practically we know they are often busy juggling studying, training and social events whilst training to compete including some travel all whilst their body is growing and developing.

Their premium fuel must be Carbohydrates studies show the higher the carbohydrate quality source and loading can mean longer sustained energy as the fats cannot produce glycogen for the muscles fast enough to convert to the needed glucose.

You might as how much is the studied amount

Light training

3-5g carbohydrates per Kg of body weight per day

Moderate training

5-7g carbohydrates per kg of body weight per day

Ultra-Endurance training

10-12g carbohydrate per kg of body weight per day

When we have these figures we then need to look at some of the best sources of carbohydrates for each person. Everyone has a different ability to digest and absorb the nutrients from different foods. Someone may prefer rice or a banana where as another athlete may consume pasta without any bloating.

This is where I can help as a Nutritionist with my studies and experience, I put together eating plan that bring out the best and most from your body.

It is important as a Nutritionist for the teenage athletes to understand my client their response on race day - nerves can make their gut function underactive. Timing of food to ensure adequate source at hand. Following race day priorities with fuel, stores, and hydration, primer and familiar foods. As well as ensuring adequate minerals for bone formation, muscle growth and repair as well as support for their reproductive and nervous system.

For me the importance is also in the recovery. To speed up the recovery process means less time away from the sport you love and more energy into what you love.

Look forward to meeting with you. Lisa Fiocchini 0429 017 897


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