Why should my kid need supplements?
In an ideal world, young athletes would get their nutrition from high-quality food sources, and they’d stay hydrated on their own. Unfortunately, parents’ schedules, busy carpooling, and most teenagers’ lack of ability to make reasonable decisions often get in the way. High school and college athletes need more than twice the protein of their peers, and the daily recommendations for them are typically ⅓ or ¼ what they actually need. Additionally, athletes will need high quality carbs and fat to keep them motivated and fueled for long practices. As they sweat, they’ll lose the proper electrolyte balance to function at their peak performance, so check out our recommendations for packing for practice.
- Protein. Workouts purposely damage muscle tissue by causing microtears in muscle tissue. Your body sends nutrition through the bloodstream to repair these tears better than before to build muscle mass. Growing teenagers with an already high protein demand will need about 1.5-2 grams of protein per lb of bodyweight. This means a 150 lb teenage boy can need around 250 grams of protein in an intense practice day! Sending a couple packs or servings of EFM Truly Grass Fed whey protein powder like Ca-Cow or Whey Back will help boost needed protein levels. I like sending my son with one shake to start the day and another for the afternoon practice session.
- Protein Bars. If you’ve seen the food offered during summer training sessions, you’re well aware of the quality. We make every effort to see that our kids take the best nutrition along with them, but one of the best and easiest ways to get a bit more high-quality protein, plus some well-sourced fats and carbohydrates for energy, is EFM’s Brownie Points Bars and Friends with Benefits Bars. Try sending two per day in the first two weeks of practice, if your kids are like mine, they’ll think it’s a snack!
- Elixir Electrolytes. To learn more about hydration, don’t forget to check out this article on Elixir to better understand the importance of electrolyte balance for sports performance. If you haven’t been living in a cave, you’re probably well aware that sports drinks are designed to replenish the lost electrolytes from excessive perspiration. Pick a better source of electrolytes with Elixir - the proper balance of trace minerals from natural Himalayan sea salt, with no corn syrup!
- Transcend Creatine (optional). There is robust evidence to support the effectiveness of creatine in the adult population. Among children and adolescents, there is mounting evidence to support the therapeutic benefits of creatine supplementation as well as clinical and exercise performance. Available studies in the adolescent population involving high-intensity exercise training indicate performance benefits with no reported side effects (1,2). If your child is lifting along with their sport, odds are they’ll recover more quickly and see an increase in lean muscle mass with creatine supplementation.
- Morning Ritual. Our multivitamin is a simple, one-a-day pill to help every athlete get the nutrients they need for recovery and performance.
Bonus FREE benefit! SLEEEEEEP – the magical time when our bodies get down to some serious repair work. Picture this: as you dive deeper into dreamland, your muscles get some serious treatment. The blood brings all the goodies - oxygen and nutrients - to repair those hardworking muscles and rejuvenate cells.
Hormones join the party too. The pituitary gland enters DJ mode, pumping out growth hormones like there's no tomorrow. If you miss the sleep party, growth hormone takes a hike, leaving your muscles feeling like they've missed the best party of their lives. 'Prolactin' that has a unique skill: it keeps inflammation in check, like the bouncer at the party making sure things don't get too wild. But if you ditch your sleep, inflammation sneaks in, making recovery a total nightmare.
If you consistently ignore your body's need for adequate sleep, inflammation can sneak in and cause disturbances in the recovery process. This disruption may lead to prolonged recovery times and potentially increase the risk of injuries.
Proper nutrition, training, and adequate sleep are critical to recovery, especially for young, growing athletes. By paying closer attention to your family’s recovery needs, you’ll see healthier, happier athletes who are better able to perform when they need to. Don’t miss these simple fixes for better fall sports!
1.Antonio, J., Candow, D.G., Forbes, S.C. et al. Common questions and misconceptions about creatine supplementation: what does the scientific evidence really show?. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 18, 13 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1186/s12970-021-00412-w
2. Grindstaff PD, Kreider R, Bishop R, Wilson M, Wood L, Alexander C, et al. Effects of creatine supplementation on repetitive sprint performance and body composition in competitive swimmers. Int J Sport Nutr. (1997) 7:330–46.