If your gymnast is in the gym more than 4 hours a week, you need to make sure she’s getting the proper nutrition for her workouts. They are expending more energy than the average child and need the right fuels for their bodies ultimate health. It is important to follow these guidelines. I know from personal experience and from many articles and body builders a few key things that will help your child’s athletic performance.
1. EAT FIVE TO SIX TIMES A DAY – 3 full size meals and 2 to 3 snacks in between meal times. This regulates their blood sugar and keeps their moods even. This is based on the book called “The Zone” by Dr. Barry Sears.
2. PROTEIN, PROTEIN, PROTEIN – Every athlete needs protein in their bodies within 30 minutes of their workout. And not just a little, you need a fist size portion or more. This will help rebuild the muscle they just worked out and lower the lactic acid buildup which causes the aches for the next two days.
3. LIQUIDS – Keep them hydrated, especially through the summer. WATER is the best option. Sports drinks are not as healthy as you might think. They contain corn syrup which breaks down muscle and turns to fat if it’s not burned. If your child shows signs of dehydration, give them pedia light or coconut juice.
4. OF COURSE FRUITS AND VEGGIES – You all know the health benefits of these foods. My general guideline is eat something LIVING with every meal. A live food, like a banana, yogurt, raw broccoli are great to have at any time. Once its been heated in any way, it’s not alive anymore and has lost it’s food breaking down, enzyme benefits. Our bodies are meant to eat living foods and not over processed junk.
Our team girls are allowed to bring a snack for gymnastics through the summer. Please choose healthy things for them to bring. We do take note of what the girls bring and advise them on the good things and the bad things they are eating. We want our girls to be healthy and have great energy for the gym. Food is so important and should not be taken lightly. Plan your meals and do the right thing for you and your family’s health.
LIST OF TABOO FOODS that you might think are healthy but really aren’t (this is my own list)
Yogurt that has a high sugar content – There are better yogurt choices – try organic brands
Crackers (no nutritional value)
Fruit roll ups (pure sugar and very little fruit)
White Rice (empty carbohydrates)
All sugars are not healthy – there is no healthy sugar from what I’ve been told, even the imitation sugars like sucralose and splenda
Most cereals, especially “kid” cereals
Here is how I shop – I buy organic when I can. I hardly ever eat things out of a can. I get most of my foods from the outside edge of the store ie. dairy, meats, cheeses, fruits and vegetables. Notice all the processed foods are down the isles and all the alive food is in the perimeter of the store. I always ask myself, how much sugar does this contain? and do I want it in my body? Sugar not only turns to fat when it’s not burned but also stops our bodies from fighting infection. I’ve known three people in my life that do not eat sugar, ever, and they NEVER get sick. No more than a palm size amount of a sugary food daily is recommended by doctors and nutritionists.
I’m proud of our team girls and there healthy choices in snacks that I’m seeing them bring but please be aware that this year I will be making a big push for protein. I really don’t think our girls are getting enough. They need way more than you think. Thanks for reading my blog!