All teenagers are required to eat balanced meals and have a healthy diet. But should teenager who play sports need to follow the same diet? Well No, as athletes have different nutrition and calorie requirements. From fast food to bagged food & especially sugary food has become processed. This means it has been manipulated in multiple ways. Processed food gives less nutrition with more calories and salts. There’s a direct color correlation between the consumption of these types of foods and metabolic consequences which results in an increased level of insulin, increased blood pressure, symptoms like fatigue and lack of motivation.
As per the best nutritionist in Delhi, here’s a brief example of how an unhealthy diet affects our body:
Brain: can cause feelings of exhaustion or depression.
Mouth and teeth: Eating fat, salt and sugar trigger the body to want more unhealthy fat, salt, and sugars. It can cause cavities.
Heart: Sugary and fattening food and too much food can block arteries and make your heart work too hard.
Stomach and intestines: Can cause constipation. Eating or drinking too much sugar puts undue stress on digestive systems and causes the body to store fat.
How bad is ruining the performance? Here is the answer:
1. Skipping Breakfast: studies have shown that about 20 per cent of kids (9-13 years) and 36 percent of teens (14-18 years) skip breakfast due to Running late in the morning and not feeling hungry. Athletes need breakfast not only for revving up their engine (metabolism), but also for paying attention in school, meeting important nutrient requirements, and feeling energized throughout the day.
Light-loading Lunch. Some athletes think it’s healthy to consume bread/chapatti with jam. Some may even skip lunch all together. This “light-load” approach really doesn’t work, especially when there is a training post-school. Lunch is the meal that loads the athlete’s body with essential carbs and protein (as well as other nutrients) for training.
Overeating Later: When the young athlete skips a meal, or lightens up on eating earlier in the day, he/she is tends to eat more later on. After school or practice, they become binge eater (eat a large amount of food in a short period of time). Overeating may cause unwanted weight gain, and when done at night, may interfere with the athlete’s morning appetite, and disturb a healthy eating routine during the day. This overeating at the end of the day robs the athlete’s body of needed nutrients for training and learning at school during the day when it’s needed most.
Forgetting Fluids. A headache, feeling tired, and a sense of hunger may be signs of poor drinking habits. Dehydration is common among young athletes and stems from getting behind in fluid consumption. Some athletes forget to drink, and play catch-up at practice, which doesn’t work.
Thus, the benefits of proper nutrition include: Injury prevention, Lessened muscle tiredness and soreness, Boosting of the immune system, Enhanced energy levels, Improved focus and attention span, Muscle healing and recovery. Injury impacts an athlete both physically and psychologically. It hampers an athlete’s growth and confidence. An injury free athlete is like a lion on the field, whereas an injury prone athlete is timid. So proper nutrition intake is very much important from day to day life.