Nutritional Health For All

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Fuel your Body for Sports: The Teenage Sportsperson

Find out what your body needs

As a teenage athlete, your active lifestyle and growing body means you have special nutritional needs. You nee to start with the bascis of a healthy and varied diet. There are no quick fixes - supplements, in particular, are no recommended for teenagers. 

This booklet is packed with information about what to eat and drink to perform at your best in sport, stay healthy and feel great.

Get the most from your body

  • Never skip meals - especially breakfast
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat good sources of protein every day
  • Eat lots of carbohydrate foods throughout the day
  • Don’t forget fats are important – choose healthier food sources
  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
  • Include good sources of iron and calcium – you need more of these nutrients than other ages
  • Make sure you enjoy your meals and snacks
  • After intense sport you will be more hungry, don’t ignore these hunger signals
  • Get enough rest and sleep – give your body time to grow and recover

Topics covered in this booklet

  • Find our what your body needs
  • Get the basics right
  • Fuels for exercise - carbohdrate, fat and protein
  • Eat well  - vitamins, minerals, iron and calcium
  • Fluids - keep you cool
  • Sports supplements
  • Purring it all into practice
  • Plan ahead
  • What and when should I eat and drink?

This booklet developed by Safefood in partnership with the Irish Nutrition and Dietetics Institute (INDI) in the Republic of Ireland and the British Dietetic Association in Northern Ireland, provides general advice for 13-17 year olds who are involved in sport. For more spectific advice, contact a sports dietitian. 

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