“ Good nutrition accounts for 50% of my performance, with 40% being mental and 10% being physical.” – Five -Time Canadian Olympian Hayley Wickenheiser
Proper nutrition and hydration have a major impact on young athletes’ health and sports performance across all levels of training and competition.
When athletes want to improve their physical skills – whether it is strength, speed, endurance, or power – they need to train well and eat well. Athletes who invest time to plan for healthy eating and hydration get more out of their training, perform better during competition, refuel their bodies faster, and have less illness and injury.
Athletes often look to coaches as the most trusted source of nutrition information over parents, friends, teachers, or dietitians. It is vital that coaches act as healthy role models who support athletes to make smart food choices for improved overall health and sport performance.
When the healthy choice is the easy choice, athletes are more likely to eat well and perform better. The information in Alberta Health Services handbook is based on current research and best practice in sports nutrition at the time of publication.
For young athletes, proper nutrition is more important than ever because they must eat well to support both healthy growth and optimal sports performance. Active youth need to learn how to follow a well-balanced approach to eating which includes healthy amounts of fluid, protein, fat, carbohydrate, and other key nutrients.