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Top Ten Nutrition Tips for Active Children

Here are my top ten nutrition tips for active children:

1. Support Hydration

  • Children have special fluid needs. Compared to adults, kids are more likely to suffer a heat illness when exercising in the heat.

  • Give your kids a sports drink to prevent fatigue and dehydration.

  • Studies show that lightly sweetened, flavored, non-carbonated beverages such as sports drinks do a better job than water of preventing dehydration.

  • Have your kids drink according to a schedule. Give kids a squeeze bottle and have them drink 5 to 9 ounces every 20 minutes to keep hydrated.

  • Weigh kids before and after exercise to determine how much fluids they are losing during activity. After exercise have your child drink 20-24 ounces of a sports drink for every pound lost during exercise.

2. Practice Supplement Safety

  • The FDA does not regulate dietary supplements. There is thus no guarantee of purity, safety or effectiveness.

  • What's in the bottle may do more harm than good.

  • Don't risk your child's health!

3. Optimize Muscle Recovery

4. Remember Pre-Exercise Meals

  • A pre-exercise meal is important to prevent hunger and to supply energy to athletes' working muscles.

  • The night before competition and 2 hours before exercise: focus on carbs, moderate protein, low-fat foods and fluids (pasta with veggies and chicken, fruit, milk, cereal, yogurt, toast, juice).

5. Target Carbohydrates For Energy

  • Carbohydrates are the main energy source for exercise and the major fuel for the brain.

  • Carbohydrates stores (glycogen) in the body are limited kids must replenish carbohydrate stores every day.

  • Top food sources: pasta, rice, breads, milk, yogurt, cereals, fruits and vegetables.

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