Is Sports Nutrition Safe for Children and Teenagers?
Tim Lawson, owner and founder of Secret Training, answers the frequently asked question; “Is Sports Nutrition safe and sensible for children and teenagers?”
What is Sports Nutrition?
Sports Nutrition is made of real food ingredients in a format that makes it easy to dose and use in a sports context. Using a brand that leaves the ‘nasties’ out and uses natural ingredients will for sure be a more healthy choice than downing a tin of soda or eating a mars bar.
Children’s Bodies Work Like Adults’
Children’s’ bodies don’t work any differently from adults’ in that they need more carbohydrates and protein with increased activity, and that they can perform and recover better when they get the right amount and quality.
Athletic Children Could Need More Sustenance
When children are keen athletes and put many hours of training in, and at the same time need nutrients to grow and develop their bodies, you might argue they need more than adults in terms of sustenance.
A Sensible and Realistic Strategy
For example, a 10-year old participating in a pre-school-morning swim session will be hungry by the end and it will be a lot easier to consume a balanced protein shake next to a peanut butter sandwich than just a home-cooked or packed breakfast with the same quality proteins in it.
When a 15-year-old has a 2-hour rugby training session after school fuelled by some carbohydrate gels, he or she will likely have a more productive workout. Following this with a protein shake without having to resort to some junk food before dinner seems a sensible and realistic strategy.
Non-Athletic Children Don’t Need Extra Carbohydrates
Of course, a child who just does a couple of regular PE sessions a week, is not particularly active or even a little overweight, doesn’t need extra carbohydrates. They just need normal healthy meals, snacks and to stay hydrated with some low carbohydrate-electrolyte drink in warmer weather.
As with adults, what children take in terms of sports nutrition should depend on the situation.
Products with caffeine and creatine are best not taken by those under the age of 16 and extensive fasted training is best reserved until children have finished growing.
Katie Lawson, our own Under 10 Secret Training ambassador and a keen cyclocross athlete uses Secret Training Real Fruit Gels and Black Currant and Elderflower Super Hydration – Now with increased training volume using more of the protein recovery products.
Look out for Katie smashing out sessions on Zwift!