B.A.S.E. Sports – Eat your fruits and veggies.

Eat your fruits and veggies!

According to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control, a whopping 9 out of 10 teens fall short of the daily recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The report, which was based on data complied in 2007, found that only 13% of high school students get at least 3 servings of vegetables per day and only 32% get at least 2 servings of fruit!

While making a concerted effort to consume more fresh fruits and vegetables offers the best solution, it’s not always a viable option for busy young athletes with demanding schedules. One way to help ensure that kids are covering their nutritional bases is to add a powdered greens supplement to their diets. Although there are a wide variety of brands to choose form, I’m especially fond of the Kidz Superfood put out by Amazing Grass. Just one scoop added to their favorite beverage provides kids with the antioxidant power of 3 servings of fruits and vegetables. And don’t worry about the taste- the chocolate flavor makes it a hit with even the pickiest of pallets.

Drink Up!

Hydration is a hot topic when it comes to young athletes, and with good reason. Generally speaking, kids are notorious for not drinking enough water. Factor in the increased physical demands associated with regular sports participation and the problem only becomes magnified. In fact, as little as a 1-2% body weight loss (or 1.5 lbs in a 150lb athlete), can negatively affect physical performance.

On average, young athletes between the ages of 10-18 should be consuming anywhere from at least 2 to 3.5 liters of pure water per day- with older athletes and boys falling more towards the high end of that range. As far as sports drinks go, they’re really only necessary when participating in activities lasting at least one hour in duration. During intense physical activity of this type, kids need to replace vital fluids and electrolytes that are lost through sweat. Look for a sports drink that is 6-8% carbohydrates, or 50-80 calories per 8 ounces, with 120-170 milligrams of sodium.

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