All too often we are told what the young athlete diet should be, but finding that perfect balance to support growth, athletic performance, and a healthy weight can be a difficult task, especially when dieting and supplements enter the picture.
In this episode, you will learn the ins and outs of dieting and supplement use in young athletes, from the risks and downsides, to the influence of peers and parents. By the end of the episode, you will have a better idea of how to support your young athlete and help him make more informed decisions about diet and supplements.
What you will learn:
- Why the young athlete diets or uses supplements, or even just thinks about it
- Some common diets and dieting techniques that young athletes might experiment with
- The dangers associated with dieting and supplement use
- If and when diets or supplements are appropriate for young athletes
- How you can “supplement” your athlete’s diet with food alone
- How to support and help your athlete make healthy decisions that have a positive impact on both growth and sports performance
What we discuss in this episode:
- Young athletes are just like regular kids! They like to eat snack foods or candy, they are very socially motivated, and they are developing independence
- Common dieting techniques among young athletes
- Commonly used supplements for performance enhancement
- Examples of supplement use gone wrong (hint: more protein does not = more muscle!)
- The signs of possible supplement use/abuse and eating disorders
- Both peers AND parents have a strong influence on young athletes, whether intentional or not
- Dieting and supplement use is a concern for both boys and girls, but there are some differences
- Having an open and honest relationship is key to supporting your athlete
- Family style meals are a great way to accommodate different (and changing) diets at dinner time
Links mentioned in the show and additional resources:
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- The Vegetarian Resource Group
- National Eating Disorders Association
- Teen Talk Podcast
- Childhood Nutrition and Cookbooks
- My new sports nutrition program for young athletes, Eat Like a Champion Sports Nutrition Course for Young Athletes
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Written by: Jill Castle, MS, RDN
Published on: February 16, 2017
Updated on: September 21, 2019