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Three Supplements Young Athletes Should Be Taking and What Supplements to Avoid

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Three Supplements Young Athletes Should Be Taking and What Supplements to Avoid

A well-balanced diet filled with plenty of protein, carbohydrates, fats, fruits and vegetables, along with 8-10 hours of sleep a night, is all your young athletes need to recover from the hard work they are doing each week and ensuring they are still making progress

When those foundations have been set and the habits are ingrained into everyday behaviour, that's when you can starting introducing supplements to aid and assist with recovery.

Suitable Supplements

1. Protein Powder

  • Protein powders are a handy tool to help get protein in quickly if you don't have time to prepare a full meal. A protein shake in the morning before school, after swimming, or on your way home from training can help tide you over before a proper meal. Using a protein shake as the milk for your cereal is a good way of adding some protein to a nutrient lacking meal. Bulk powders and nutrients which don't utilise the fancy advertising and flashy packages are a great choice to save money and sift out all the useless filler ingredients found in the bigger companies.

2. Creatine Monohydrate

  • Creatine has been shown to increase muscle mass and strength when combined with strength training after being taken for a prolonged period of time. Creatine can be found in red meat and seafood however, taking a creatine supplement is a objective way to know exactly how much you are getting daily. 5g of creatine each day is the recommended amount.

3. Vitamins

  • Vitamins like calcium, vitamin D and iron are important for athletes and young adolescents in general. Calcium and vitamin D is found in dairy products, dark green vegetables, fish and from the sun. These two supplements are especially important for bone density and muscle mass, which can help reduce the risk of injury of broken bones. Iron deficiency is a common problem amongst young females and some males and can be detrimental to endurance but also overall energy levels. Iron can be dosed with a supplement but is found in red meat as well.

Supplements to Avoid

1. BCAA's

  • There is very little evidence that suggests that branch chain amino acids (BCAA) contribute and assist in building muscle. If you are eating around 1.6g of protein per kilo of body weight you'll be getting all the protein you need to be building muscle each week.

2. Fat Burners

  • If something sounds too good to be true then it probably is. If it was as easy as taking a couple pills to lose weight, then we wouldn't be having an obesity epidemic! These products are just scam to get you spending your hard-earned money and looking for people who want to find the easy way out. Regular exercising and eating in a sensible calorie deficit each week will allow you to lose weight over the long term. As young teens avoid getting caught up into the weight loss pressures as this can affect your mental wellbeing.

3. Pre Workout

  • Avoid relying on a pre workout drink as you're only motivation for a good training session. You don't won't to get stuck in the cycle where you need the caffeine and stimulant effect to get you through the sessions. This is only going to lead to you becoming too dependent on caffeine rather than sleep and good food. Most of the pre workouts are underdosed with the ingredients anyway and it's the placebo effect that leaves you feeling full of energy.

If you need help and guidance to improve your overall sports performance, get in touch with us.

Matt Hucul
Junior Strength Coach
Inner Athlete (AUS)

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