Should Young Athletes Take Supplements?

I have wanted to write this blog for a while now, but I was not sure how to go about it. As much as I want to help young athletes develop and become healthier, I also know some things are challenging to educate people on. Times change, we learn and we should get better!

Supplementation for young athletes was once regarded as taboo and potentially dangerous. I have to admit before I got educated with current scientific research, I was sceptical and believed that supplementation for young athletes was unnecessary.

How my thoughts have changed now…

There are lots of myths around about supplementation for young people; they don’t need supplementation support, it can stunt growth, can damage organs. Some people even think of it as cheating.

I now disagree with all these claims. Especially now I have found a product range that is clean, safe and designed for young athletes.

What is supplementation? Supplementation defined; “Something added to complete a thing, supply a deficiency, or reinforce or extend a whole”

Most people have taken a multi vitamin, vitamin B or probiotic before, maybe even chugged down a few protein shakes. Well, they are all forms of supplements and they are designed to help maintain and improve how our body functions.

A good healthy supplementation plan is designed to support the body and help keep it function well. That’s it!

Most people don’t get adequate nutrition from their daily intake of food and fluids, particularly; minerals, vitamins, good fats and protein.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics national health survey shows the vast majority of children in Australia are eating far too few vegetables. The National Health and Medical Research Council recommends that growing children eat five serves of vegetables, and two serves of fruit each day, to receive optimal nutritional benefits. Unfortunately, it is not happening!

The ABS has revealed only four per cent of kids are eating five or more serves of veggies, with almost half consuming just one serve of vegetables or less a day. And it doesn’t get any better for adults, who are failing to role model good eating habits, with an equally dismal six percent of adults meeting the daily fruit and vegetable requirements. Then there is the quality and amount of protein young athletes consume. Fried, smoked, preserved proteins are consumed by most young athletes. The lack of a good clean high quality protein is the missing link for many young athletes. It affects their development on many levels.

Add in the fact young athletes burn more fuel, break down more tissue, sweat more and deplete their nutrient supplies more so than the average young person, it is important to do what you can to minimise any potential health risks and improve the overall well-being of them.

So how does having an inadequate nutritional intake affect a young person's physical and mental development?
• Recovery is much slower (Protein helps repair damaged muscle tissue caused during exercise)
• Performance is inhibited (Vitamins and minerals are important for energy production, they help support the nervous system)
• Concentration is effected (Without adequate nutritional support the body will not work at its optimal limit, concentration is often the first sign of nutritional deficiency)
• Illness (Being sick can affect a young athlete's progress in numerous ways. (Having a strong immune system helps prevent illness)

So, what to take and when to take it.

Last year I spent a lot of time researching into products that are safe and effective for junior development. I was lucky enough to have stumbled across NuZest. A company that prides itself on delivering quality nutritional supplements, formulated by global industry leaders based on the latest scientific research. I have found it to be the cheapest site (10% lower than RRP) Shipping is worldwide and reasonable. Best to buy the larger tubs, I worked out it is a bit cheaper.

Here’s what I recommend for young tennis athletes;

From 4-12 years Kids Good Stuff (1 serve daily – after breakfast) Packed full of greens, fruits, veggies and herbs. Strengthened with vitamins and minerals. Everything kids need to live, learn, grow and perform. It is a must!

From 12 years upwards Good Green Stuff (1 serve daily – after breakfast) So much more than just greens! Comprehensive nutritional support in one daily serve. It’s a potent blend of fruits, vegetables and herbs, with added vitamins, minerals, probiotics, antioxidants and essential nutrients.

Clean Lean Protein (1 serve daily – after training) The world’s highest source of plant protein! European Golden Pea Protein is a safe and effective way to ensure young athletes are getting adequate protein amounts. Protein is essential for healthy energy and for the recovery and repair of muscle and body tissue.

Please remember up until recently I rarely advocated supplementation for young athletes. I now have my kids taking these fortified foods, they love them and I feel a lot more comfortable knowing they are getting good nutritional support for their growing bodies.

Supplementation is not the only answer to a better healthy development of young tennis athletes, it is a piece of the puzzle that will assist alongside long term good healthy eating and drinking habits. Eating a good healthy balanced diet is and always should be the priority for all young athletes. I recommend researching anything before you give it to your child. There is loads of information on NuZest out there. 

From what I have found, it is totally safe for young athletes and the fact the Kids Good Stuff is formulated specifically for young ones put my mind at ease! Please note I am not a nutritionist or claim to be anything like that. I am only sharing this information, because its a common question I get asked.

I am always here to listen and answer any questions the best I can, so give me a shout out if needed.

 

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