Diet and Nutrition essentials of an Active Teenager

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The dietary requirement of a teenager who also actively participates in fitness and sports activities is different from an average adult. Unlike the age old Indian concept of eating as much as you can, the diet of a teenage athlete depends on what he or she eats. Protein bars, whey proteins, energy drinks, etc. are good supplements, but they will always remain supplementary to the food you feed an active teenage athlete. Nutrition is the most important factor that triggers an athlete’s performance. And teenage athletes need it more than their peers. The same is true for a teenager who is into bodybuilding.

How to gauge the nutritional needs of a teenager? The nutritionists at Talwalkars follow a unique approach to determine the nutritional needs of a teenager.

  1. They first check the height, weight, and BMI
  2. Assess the medical report to find any anomalies
  3. Check for deficiency or excess of nutrients
  4. Diet history
  5. Also, consider the economic status while charting out a diet.

Just like an athlete whose training modules and intensity varies, a bodybuilding teenager also has variations in his or her training routine. Based on this fact, the nutritional requirement of a teenager varies from 2500 to 5000 calories in a day.

Should a teenager diet /fast?

If those teenagers who are very active in sports or in a gym diet or fat on their training days then it can have adverse effects. Tiredness, the breakdown of muscles, below par performance etc. are some of these adverse effects. Active teenagers need extra fuel to maintain their body’s function, and a restrictive diet will cause serious problems. However, there are certain activities such as dancing, swimming, and gymnastics that need the body to be slim and flexible. Teenagers who follow such activities should consult their nutritionists for their dietary requirements.

Nutrition breakdowns

Proteins: An active teenager requires a greater amount of proteins in their food. However consuming excess proteins will not make them superhuman or give them huge muscles. The basic calculation is 0.5 to 0.8 gram of protein per kilogram of bodyweight. You can get your daily dose of proteins from milk and milk products, eggs, lean meat, pulses, legumes, nuts, and dry beans. However excess intake of proteins can cause the following harms: excess calories lead to weight gain, dehydration, calcium excretion and kidney problems.

Carbs: Carbohydrates are an excellent fuel source for athletes. Choose complex carbs, and fibers to gain the maximum results from it. Sources include fruits and green leafy vegetables, beans, etc. Lack of carbs can result in tiredness and poor performance.

Fats: Healthy or unsaturated fats from vegetable oils and fish are good for the body. You can avoid or reduce high-fat meats and dairy.

Vitamins and minerals: Different vitamins and minerals have an effect on the overall development of the body. These are present in fruits, vegetables, dairy, and nuts.

Water: Quench your thirst with water; avoid carbonated drinks and caffeine products. Sports drinks are good during the summer heat.

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