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Nutrition Info

Sports Nutrition for Young Distance Runners

What you as an athlete eat and drink will affect your training and performance. For teen athletes this is especially important, as good nutrition is crucial for a body that is not only training, but is still growing and developing.

Among athletes with comparable training and ability, diet (what you eat - how you fuel your body) may be the edge you have over a competitor. Concentrate on a training diet that includes foods from each food group, that is high in complex carbohydrates and fluids, moderate in protein and low in fat and refined sugar. Caloric needs for teen distance runners are higher than many other sports, due to the intense output of energy during training and racing. Total daily energy requirements for teen athletes ages 15-18 are around 3,000 calories plus per day, with a breakdown of macro nutrients as follows:
Carbohydrates 60-65%
Proteins 15-20%
Fats < 20%

Complex carbohydrates should make up the majority of the food you eat, as they are the main source of energy for endurance athletes and are stored in the body for energy in the form of glycogen. Your pre and post training and race meals should include plenty of of complex carbohydrates, such as: breads, pasta, bagels, cereal, crackers, pretzels, fruit, vegetables.

For the night before a race and 3-4 hours before - a meal high in complex carbohydrates, moderate in protein, low in sugar and fat is ideal. Pasta, rice, breads, bagels, fruits and vegetables, cereals, granola, lean proteins and plenty of fluids.

A few hours before a race: bread, bagels, bananas, dry cereal, granola bars that are low in sugar.

Within the hour following training or a competition, it is vital to refuel the body and replace liquids lost during exercise. Eat a healthy snack and drink plenty of water. This will aid in recovery and begin and prepare your body for your next training session.

Consistent, regular healthy eating from each area of the food group and drinking plenty of fluids to stay hydrated are the keys to eating well - not only for your performance, but for a healthy lifestyle.

For more detailed nutrition information please visit the following web-sites:
Brown College

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