What Your Child Needs Most To Succeed In Sports
Want to give your kids a leg up in sports? Make sure they fill their tummies up before they leave the house in the morning. Breakfast has legitimate bragging rights as the most important meal of the day. It increases energy, boosts the metabolism, aids concentration, increases problem-solving skills and heightens overall mental performance.
To make the most of the most important meal of the day, start with three powerhouse ingredients for maximum performance on the field: protein, healthy fats and complex carbohydrates. Fortunately, it’s easy to incorporate them in quick, tasty ways such as smoothies, oatmeal, breakfast burritos and more!
Additionally, drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of fluids—especially water—prevents dehydration, which can affect strength, energy, coordination and athletic performance. You should also note that athletic kids require a variety of vitamins and minerals to keep their bodies at optimal levels, specifically calcium and iron. According to kidshealth.org, kids need calcium to build stronger bones to resist them from breaking and stress fractures. Iron is needed to improve the flow of oxygen to all the different body parts which will help increase their endurance. So be sure to stock up your fridge with low-fat dairy products, leafy green vegetables, lean meats, dried fruits and fortified whole grains.
The timing of meals can be just as important as the contents. Three hours before the game or less, a lighter meal or snack might include easily digestible carbs such as fruit, fruit/vegetable juice, crackers or bread. A post-game meal should include a balance of lean protein, carbs and fat, as the body rebuilds muscle tissue for up to 24 hours.
May is National Physical Fitness and Sports Month. So get on the bandwagon and find some smile-worthy ways to use nutrition to help your kids do their very best on the field—and everywhere else.