Basic sports nutrition is key for young athletes. Playing sports is a terrific way for them to stay fit, but it also puts a lot of tax on their young bodies. Quite simply, the harder they work their bodies, the more calories you will burn.

Here is a sample table that illustrates how many calories they burn in a given hour of each sport or activity:

Aerobics 544 Calories
Basketball 680 Calories
Football (touch) 476 Calories
Ice Skating 394 Calories
Jogging 476 Calories
Racquetball 544 Calories
Running 897 Calories
Skiing 598 Calories
Swimming 299 Calories
Volleyball 345 Calories
Walking 299 Calories
Weightlifting 612 Calories

As indicated, the various sports can really tax a young athlete’s body. Given that, here are the recommended calories needed per day for young athletes:

Male Athletes
11-14 years old – 24-28 calories per pound
15-22 years old – 18-22 calories per pound

Female Athletes
11-14 years old – 20-24 calories per pound
15-22 years old – 16-20 calories per pound

So it is obvious that younger athletes need to ingest a considerable amount of calories each day, as their body grows. However, what are the right breakdowns in terms of what they need?

For the most part, sports nutritionists recommend a diet that follows these general guidelines:

60-65% of calories from carbohydrates
15-20% of calories from proteins
20-25% of calories from fats

Carbohydrates provide the primary source of a body’s fuel, while protein is utilized to repair muscle and promote growth. Getting the right fats is important as well, since they allow the body to absorb fat-soluble vitamins such as A, D, E, and K. Fat also insulates the body and provides a cushion for internal organs.

Be sure to include a daily multivitamin in a young athlete’s diet as well. Vitamins are instrumental in helping the body to perform specific functions needed for both muscles and the nervous system.

Return From Basic Sports Nutrition To Youth Nutrition

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