In any diet, whether infant or adult, it is advisable to include healthy and varied foods. In the case of child athletes, when they exercise more, they burn more calories and their nutritional requirements are greater. However, we must take into account the number of hours and the intensity of the a
In any diet, whether infant or adult, it is advisable to include healthy and varied foods. In the case of child athletes, when they exercise more, they burn more calories and their nutritional requirements are greater. However, we must take into account the number of hours and the intensity of the activity that the child performs, and of course, that each child is different.
Although the macronutrients, proteins, carbohydrates and fats are important, it is not advisable to lean towards rich diets in any of them, but keep maintaining the usual proportion of a balanced diet.
A balanced diet for sports children
Proteins: Excess of proteins in particular, can cause important damage to the kidneys.
Calcium: As regards micronutrients, two minerals, calcium and iron, are of great importance. Calcium, present in dairy products such as milk, cheese or yogurt, helps to strengthen bones, and thus minimize the chances of breakage in cases of extreme activity. Green leafy vegetables, such as spinach or Swiss chard, which also provide many vitamins, are also sources of calcium.
Iron: Iron, on the other hand, plays an essential role in the oxygenation of cells. As a key component of blood hemoglobin, iron helps carry oxygen from the lungs to all parts of the body, including the muscles. Its lack is translated, therefore, in fatigue and weakness in general. Although it is surprising, iron is also one of the minerals most lost through sweat, as well as sodium and potassium. Other minerals such as magnesium are also lost, the absence of which can cause muscle cramps, because it intervenes in the transmission of the nervous impulse.
It is important, according to this, to include iron-rich foods in the athlete's diet, preferably those easily absorbed, such as red meat. Iron and magnesium are also found in green leafy vegetables, legumes and nuts.
Vitamin C: This iron, however, is more difficult to assimilate by the organism, since it needs to be transformed for its absorption, a process facilitated by vitamin C . To help the body recover energy and trace elements lost after physical exertion, a good dose of vitamin C, and a handful of nuts, are ideal.Tips on feeding the child athlete
- It is not healthy to avoid food groups, lean towards fasting
or skip meals, as it can cause problems in blood glucose levels, and glucose is vital, both for the muscle as for the brain. - As perspiration increases, the chances of dehydration also increase, so
drinking before, during and after exercise is very important. The most recommended drink, because it is the most hydrated, is water, although the combination of water and fruit juice can have its advantages, since it provides a small dose of sugar, as well as vitamins and minerals. It is advisable to avoid all carbonated beverages and sports preparations, as they provide unnecessary amounts of sugar to the body. - It is recommended
to eat between 2 and 4 hours before intense physical exercise . With a full stomach, the body will use much of the energy in digestion, leaving less energy for physical activity. In addition, it is advisable to avoid eating foods with fast-absorbing carbohydrates, such as juices or sweets, since at first they provide a lot of energy, which quickly depletes, leaving a feeling of exhaustion unpleasant.