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The Winning Recipe: Why Nutrition is Key for Youth Athletes


aherberg

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Let's face it:

Training is interesting; nutrition is not. On the one hand, you have a deeply-engaging activity that pushes you hard, helps you get better, and makes you feel on top of the world. On the other hand, there it is: that plate full of broccoli, rice, and chicken.

And who could blame you that you find nutrition boring? It's not the most exciting of topics.

One possible way to make it more engaging would be to illustrate the importance of nutrition and why not paying attention will always hinder your athletic efforts.

Let's see…

The Car Analogy

If you're a youth athlete, you might find it challenging to understand the comparison, but allow me to try:

Think of the family car for a moment. Unless it's an all-electric Tesla, it needs fossil fuel to run, so your parents probably visit a gas station once or twice per week. If you've ever witnessed one of these fill-ups, you've probably noticed there are multiple types of fuel, each with a unique price.

In most cases, the expensive fuel is also of higher quality. For most cars to run well and last serious mileage, their owners need to get the more expensive fuel. This allows the engine and every other component of the vehicle to run smoothly and last longer. In contrast, putting low-quality fuel in the car prevents the engine from working optimally and makes the car wear out quicker.

And the same goes for the human body. The food we eat is the fuel for the body, and its quality greatly determines how we feel, how well we can perform, and how healthy we can be in the long run.

The Critical Importance of Good Nutrition
I get it. You still might find nutrition boring. I probably felt the same way back in the day. But do you know what? I wish someone had sat me down and explained the importance of good nutrition back then. 

The foods you eat contribute to your current and future self. This is because your body is in a constant state of breakdown and build-up. Billions of old and worn-out cells get replaced with new ones each day. For this to happen, the body needs good nutrition and a wide range of essential nutrients. 

But here is where things get even more interesting:

Just as your body needs a wide range of nutrients to function optimally, it also requires good nutrition for you to excel in your sport. Good food allows you to feel well, perform at your best, recover more quickly, and be at the top of your game.

Good nutrition also allows you to develop and grow well. Research finds that malnutrition can slow down children's growth and prevent them from developing fully before they reach adulthood. 

And finally, developing good nutrition habits while you are young is incredibly beneficial for later in life. Too many people never think twice about their nutrition and only start doing so after they are well into their adult years. By that point, they've ingrained their habits too deeply, and changing them is much more difficult. 

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This content was created for informational purposes only. The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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