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How Young Athletes Can Properly Fuel Their Bodies

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How Young Athletes Can Properly Fuel Their Bodies

In order to perform at your best, you need to be fuelling your body with the right nutrients. This is especially important with trainings during the school week. Your young athletes have a busy schedule during their school days and often just eating the normal amount of food isn't enough to keep them performing as well as they could be. If your child is underfed leading into consistent training this can increase their chances of getting injured and sick, keeping them out of their sport for an extended period of time.

As we move into summer the demands of training increase drastically, as the heat will lead to dehydration a lot quicker than the cooler months. Even slight dehydration can severely interfere with performance. Losing just 1 litre of water through sweat loss can cause your resting heart rate to increase by 8 beats per minute. This means that you're operating in a much more intense energy system, having a negative effect on your speed, power, endurance and ability to stay concentrated on a singular task.

So here's a few tricks that require minimal effort.

  • The day before training, young athletes should be eating 20% more than what they normally would. This includes fluids as the weather was very warm as the day went on.
  • If your child is already quite lean, 2 days of eating 15% more is ideal.


  • The morning of training can be tricky - the earlier you train the more important it is for your young athlete to get the calories in the day before...not the morning or afterwards. They're likely to have an upset stomach or lack the energy to eat afterwards. If they can do another 20 minutes of training at the end, that is a great sign they're adequately fed.


  • Post-training - a sandwich with meat, beg and sauce is a great idea. If they cannot stomach much, flavoured milk is good afterwards to help with recovery.
  • In terms of what you need to fuel them with, watch our Nutritional Needs for Youth Athletes seminar. This explains about the energy demands for youth athletes which is different to adult athletes.

For more information on strength and conditioning for youth athletes and increasing your sport performance, check out our website and podcast also available on Spotify and YouTube!.

You can also book a FREE consultation by emailing us. 

Matt Hucul
Strength Coach
Inner Athletes - Bayside's premium strength and conditioning coaching for youth athletes

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