Youths in general have an increased need for calories due to periods of rapid growth. The nutrients contained within the foods they eat should provide the nourishment their bodies need to properly grow. Recent trends show that youths are eating more meals away from home, and that almost 40% of the total energy they consume is in the form of empty calories (1). Suboptimal nutrition can cause complications such as excess weight gain, and may also compromise growth and development. Youth athletes expend more nutrient rich energy than their sedentary counterparts and for this reason, should consume more calories to fuel their bodies for performance and recovery. Proper nutrition and hydration is essential, before, during and after activity.
It’s no secret. Many endurance athletes love to have a beer “for recovery,” after a long day of exercise, training, or a race. It affords the opportunity to slow down the pace of life and socialize with others. Although alcoholic beer is known to have many negative effects on an athlete’s physiology, recently released research also shows favorable effects – for non-alcoholic and perhaps even alcoholic wheat beer. This article in no way argues the negative effects alcohol has on performance and recovery. It merely points out, that drinking a specific type of beer may also have positive effects very relevant to endurance athletes.
According to the Mayo Clinic, creatine monohydrate is one of the most popular supplements taken among athletes. It occurs naturally in the body, and helps muscles to release energy. (1) Surprisingly, just as in the 90s, only speculation exists as to whether high doses of creatine can potentially cause damage to the kidneys or liver. This stems from the fact that both are used to eliminate excess amounts not utilized by the body. As with the use of any supplement, side effects may occur, including cramping of the stomach, muscle cramps, nausea, diarrhea, and weight gain resulting from either water retention – or actual gains in muscle mass. (2)