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7 Top Tips to Improve Nutrition and Sporting Performance for Youth Athletes

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7 Top Tips to Improve Nutrition and Sporting Performance for Youth Athletes

Inner Athlete held it's first face-to-face seminar since the lockdowns last weekend.

Laura McMullin, Sports Dietitian presented on 'Nutritional Needs for Youth Athletes'. With wellbeing on the rise, it's important to consider nutrition in the equation.

Here's Laura's top tips:

1.  Get the foundations right!

  • Hit your target serves from the 5 food groups from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating.
  • These recommended serves are the minimum to make sure you're getting the appropriate fuel and micronutrients to support healthy development. Getting the foundations of your diet right is key to being a high performer.

2.  Watch your intake to the amount of activity you are going to do

  • Got a big training session coming up? Make sure you are eating plenty of carbohydrates (good source found in the grains and fruits food group!) and great quality protein (found in the dairy group and lean meats, eggs, fish and poultry groups) to help you TRAIN HARDER and RECOVER BETTER!

3.  Work on your system!

  • "Systems are for people who care about winning repeatedly. Goals are for people who care about winning once".
  • Work on organising the pillars of sports nutrition and how it applies to you.


Pillars of Sports Nutrition:

A. Comfort

  • Learn what foods you digest well and give you a good feeling of energy. Figure out what timing works best for you when fuelling up for a training session or a game.
  • Rough guide: have carbohydrate-rich snack 30-60 minutes beforehand and a filling and balanced meal around 2-3 hours before kick off.

B. Preparation

  • If you fail to plan, you plan to fail...organise yourself ahead of time so you aren't left feeling hungry or fatigued around training AND you can help your body recover well for the next session.
  • Have snacks or meals ready to go so you don't have to wonder what to have when the time comes.

C. Periodisation

  • Your nutrition and food intake should be built around your current activity plan to support you getting the most out of it. Adjust up or down depending on intensity and volume of work you're currently doing.
  • Whether you are in pre-season, off-season or in the thick of it, change your intake to match your training load and energy needs.

D. Longevity

  • With any nutrition strategy, you should consider the long term effects your plan may have. We want you to get the most out of your sport for as long as possible and ensuring you set up your plan well is key.
  • Managing sleep, training load, stress and nutrition in a balanced fashion will keep you in the game for as long as possible!

If you want to improve your sporting performance, or become fitter and stronger, we can help. Get in touch with us today - info@inner-athlete.com.au.

Trent Pirihi
Founder and Head Strength Coach
Inner Athlete

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