How to get Optimum Performance from your Young or Adolescent Athlete

improve athletic performance
improve athletic performance

They are growing, learning and thriving in their youth and becoming accomplished at their goals. Adolescent athletes are usually just as serious about their athletic training and aspirations as professional competitors. But, they need even better nutrition and educational foundations to meet their bodies' demands for energy and strength. 

Firstly, it's important to clue into the fact that we, as a society, both as parents and even some coaches, are missing the mark with our youth's nutrition.  Adolescent athletes are not only growing and developing by leaps and bounds at this age, but then they add intense training and optimum performance on TOP of that.  Their body needs a ton of nutrients not just to grow, but then also to perform and then recover.  It makes perfect sense that this group of individuals needs optimal nutrition more than any other demographic.

Sports Nutrition: Critical to Success

All athletes strive to compete at the top of their game but, unbeknownst to many of them, their performance relies on their nutritional status. Jenna A. Bell-Wilson, PhD, RD, CSSD, who is a certified specialist in sports dietetics in Arlington, Mass., says that "young athletes with inadequate diets may have insufficient fuel for workouts, nutrient deficiencies that can lead to illness or fatigue, a decrement in bone growth and maintenance, and may not reach their potential for muscle growth. All of these will be reflected in their performance, regardless of their determination".  See entire article here… 

When they go on tournaments or venture to athletic games, the majority of the time busses stop at the most convenient fast food or buffet restaurant available, so the kids can be herded through quickly, cheaply and efficiently. Also consider tournaments, where they wait in between games or performances, sometimes for hours, and they are left to grab a bite to eat where the food usually consists of something at the concession stand or a processed meal or snack they may have thrown in their bag.

And then there are some of the boys, but most likely the girls….both coaches, scouts and even society can shame and judge heavy (and even slightly overweight) individuals, so girls especially are afraid to eat too much, lest they gain a pound or two that results criticism, rejection or a starting position.  These are all the wrong nutrition patterns for our youth to be learning. They need to be educated about what healthy eating is all about -- it’s not just about the calorie number…..it’s about:

~ consuming whole foods to give them energy, strength, mental focus and help their body repair from extreme training sessions. Not eating junk that's full of refined sugars, artificial flavors, sugars and colors and other processed ingredients that impeeds performance and concentration.

~ how to judge proper portions. Every body has different portion needs for their body and activity level.  Heck I still think I can eat like a man after years of putting away athletic portions as a teenager.  What my body needed then is a very different portion than what I need now.  But the food quality should be the same.

~ that food is for fuel.

~ learning what they can have on the road that's inexpensive, a whole food that will help fuel their nutional needs.

young athletes performance
young athletes performance

Teen athletes have unique nutrition needs. Because athletes work out more than their less-active peers, they generally need extra calories to fuel both their sports performance and their growth. Depending on how active they are, teen athletes may need anywhere from 2,000 to 5,000 total calories per day to meet their energy needs.

So whats an EASY and VIABLE solution?

shakeology seay
shakeology seay

While most people think of Shakeology® as just as weight loss shake, it's really so much more than that. It's a nutrition shake chocked full of over 70 superfoods that provide essential vitamins and nutrients to your body. It is nutritionally equivalent to FIVE plates of salad.  It can be used as a meal replacement or as a supplement to their  diet. Its versatility is key in how it's effective in a young athlete's life.  For most of these athletes, they can make it a 500-600 calorie meal on the road.

Shakeology® is one important step (yet easy) in teaching them that fueling your body with the right ingredients will help you achieve the results you are looking for, in multiple ways.

Consider that many young athletes actually use up many more calories (and vitamins and nutrients) than what they take in during a day's time. They work out and train hard, rarely taking adequate time to eat right. They're busy with school, extra-curricular activities, their families and other tasks that distract them from the importance of eating nutritious meals. A daily Shakeology® can alleviate the worry that your teen is not getting the nutrition he needs. And, if you think that they need a few extra calories to make up for what they use, add fruit, almond butter or other natural ingredients to their daily shakes to boost the value they receive from it.

Here are just FIVE of the 70 natural superfoods in Shakeology that can enhance your athletes performance:

Chia Seeds: 11 Proven Health Benefits of Chia Seeds, one of the healthiest foods on the planet.

Quinoa: 11 Proven Health Benefits of Quinoa, the world's most popular "superfood".

Sacha Inchi is used for increasing energy and endurance and creates more efficient muscle building.

Schisandra:  Increases Stamina — Athletes have had amazing results with using schisandra as a part of their daily regimen. It actually reduces fatigue and improves physical power and endurance. Athletes have shown better performance results with long term use of the berry.

Acai Berry:  Due its overall health benefits, taking acai extract can lead to an increased overall level of energy and stamina, and may aid to combat fatigue and exhaustion.

Screenshot 2015-02-24 20.38.40
Screenshot 2015-02-24 20.38.40

Young athletes consistently reach for drinks or shakes that advertise how much energy they can get from them.  (Most people are lacking energy due to lack of nutrients). Monster, Rock Star, Red Bull and Amp (just to name a few of the most popular variations) all contain sugars, caffeine and harmful artificial ingredients (also in sports drinks like Gatoraide and Poweraide) that provide no nutritional benefits, dehydrate you and actually have ingredients especially harmful to athletes looking to push their performance.  Not only are they harmful, but they are also expensive! 

When your kids are looking for a little extra pep, consider giving  them  Shakeology®.  At $4.50 a serving it’s much cheaper in the long run. Additionally, it's convenient. If kids take a packet of Shakeology® powder with them to a game, all they need is their shaker bottle and some water and they've got the "healthiest meal of the day" in the palm of their hands. And, it can take the place of some of the other poor choices they make. Filling up with a Shakeology® is much better for them than the nachos, soy-packed burgers and candy bars they will get at a concession stand as they wait for their turns to compete. It's also much more beneficial than many of the foods they may choose on a daily basis. And, there's even an option to create healthy snack “on the go” bars or other treats using Shakeology® as a base ingredient. These are great to take with them on school trips or to games.

High School Basketball, Track and Cross Country Coach, Becky Hilty has seen a remarkable difference in her young athletes performance since adding Shakeology to their nutrition plan.  "Their focus is a key difference.  Not to mention they are able to sustain longer periods of intense activity compared to last year.  Especially in regards to females, in the past, many of them didn't get their monthly cycle because they were not properly nourished.  That changed once they started drinking one Shakeology a day.  That was literally, all they did differently."

Student athletes' muscles, bones and brains are busy growing and developing, which requires denser nutrition. When you pair that with their high levels of activity, they can become deficient in essential vitamins and nutrients very easily. Shakeology® can help replace what they've lost and build up their reserves so that they are existing in an overall more healthy state. Shakeology's ingredient can help to increase endurance, build muscle, focus better and recover from extreme exertion.   Hey and most likely their performace will increase!

Adolescent athletes are constantly striving to be the best they can be. Help them accomplish their goals by teaching them to fuel their bodies with healthy foods and Shakeology®. Encourage them to learn the difference between healthy eating and just eating. Incorporating Shakeology® into a young person's diet early on will help her establish stronger foundations in her desire to consume healthy ingredients, in addition to helping her achieve many of the physical benefits of the product.

Seay Stanford

Certified Holistic Health and Nutrition Coach

NCAA Division Two Athlete

Improve athletic performance seay stanford
Improve athletic performance seay stanford

Contact Me about ordering Shakeology® get me as your free health and nutrition coach!

Also, if they are going to reach for an “energy shot” regardless, consider having them use Energy and Endurance, instead.  It's a much cleaner and all natural alternative.

The OTHER super foods in Shakeology:

For a "Dear Doctor" letter to provide to your pediatrician on your next visit to find out if Shakeology may help you, contact me at Seay.Stanford@gmail.com and I will send you a printable copy.

seay stanford
seay stanford

Results may vary. Please consult your physician before beginning any supplement or meal replacement product, particularly if you have any unique or special needs or conditions, such as food allergies, dietary restrictions, or if you are pregnant or breast feeding. The content on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide any medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.