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Sports Nutrition for Kids – 20 Superfoods and 5 Key Questions Answered
A few months ago, I was in a radio station with a hockey coach, waiting for my turn to be interviewed. The hockey coach was told that I would be up next, providing tips on how nutrition can improve one’s hockey game. The coach said that he didn’t see how nutrition would improve one’s game. Well, isn’t that the way of things? Why is it so hard for people to see that food and supplements are our fuel and that without them, we cannot perform to full capacity? Therefore, I thought it might be helpful to provide information on 20 superfoods and answer the top 5 questions to explain the power of nutrition when it comes to sports:
1. What is the number one unique way to improve your child’s sports agility?
Determine the foods to which your child is sensitive. You say, “What?” Adverse reactions to food can be behind a child’s difficulty concentrating, low energy, body pain, asthma, frequent sickness, depression, weight gain, violent behaviour and a host of other health challenges. If your child is not concentrating in school, why would they concentrate on the field or the ice? If any of these challenges are part of your child’s world, they will interfere with their performance in sports as well.
2. Which 20 superfoods help a child reach maximum performance in their chosen sport?
These foods literally improve strength and endurance: –
- Protein is HUGE – Best examples include eggs, wild salmon, turkey, red meat (in moderation and from a healthy source), yogurt (in moderation and from a health food store), nuts and seeds, and black beans are the best sources.
- Fruits and Vegetables (yes, I do promote organic) – Berries of any kind, broccoli, spinach (actually prevents muscle and bone loss and contains more protein than steak), tomatoes, oranges, apples, carrots, and avocado are the best sources.
- Quinoa (contains protein too!), oats and brown rice for a sustained release of energy.
- Extra virgin olive oil or other source of ‘good fat’ – the brain cannot live without it.
3. What is the number one supplement every child needs to reach maximum performance in their chosen sport?
Fish oil (the best ‘good fat’) – Hands down, fish oil is the most important supplement for improving the health of the mind, coordination, mood, healthy metabolism and more. Is your child clumsy? He or she needs fish oils!
4. What are two drinks that every child needs to reach maximum performance in their chosen sport?
- Water (filtered water please!) – Water is crucial for peak strength, prevents dehydration and literally builds muscle faster, helps muscles recover and makes muscles look bigger J. Don’t forget coconut water – the best electrolyte drink there is.
- Green tea – Improves blood sugar concentration in the body and circulation and is a natural source of caffeine. Find one your child likes the taste of – some taste really great!
5. What does the timing need to be for eating these various foods for optimal performance in sports?
Your child needs to eat protein, healthy starches, vegetables, fruits and good fats every THREE hours throughout the day. The protein is the key food group; each protein source has different levels of amino acids, which makes it particularly important for children to obtain protein from different sources.
Now get your child on that field or the ice in their best state of health and you just watch what they accomplish!!!! You thought you were proud of them before?
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