How Can Young Athletes Avoid Burnout?
Feeling tired all of the time? Putting it down to long days at school, not getting enough sleep or perhaps too much training? While these are all likely causes of tiredness and fatigue, it could also be related to what you’re eating, or rather, what you’re not eating. We take a look at some of the nutrients essential for beating fatigue that will have you bursting with energy.
Remember, there’s no one nutrient alone that will give you a quick fix solution. Eating a balanced diet and consuming enough calories for the demands of your body, sport and lifestyle is essential. Under-fuelling is going to leave you feeling exhausted and will massively affect your performance. Make sure you’re fuelling before, refuelling after and NEVER skip meals.
One of the first signs of dehydration is the feeling of fatigue as your body's ability to produce energy is restricted. This will negatively impact performance and may even cut sessions short when exhaustion sets in. Although there are no official set guidelines, young athletes should aim to drink at least 1.5 – 2 litres of water throughout the day. Remember to drink more if it’s hot and humid or if they’re training particularly hard.
Tip: Carry a re-usable water bottle and sip it throughout the day
Iron deficiency is one of the most common micronutrient deficiencies that causes fatigue. Adolescent athletes, in particular females, and those who avoid red meat are at a greater risk of iron deficiency and anaemia. As well as increasing tiredness levels, low levels of iron also impair recovery and immune function, increasing an athlete’s susceptibility to injury and illness. Foods high in iron include red meats and dark green leafy vegetables.
3. B vitamins
The family of B vitamins are critical for the production of energy, helping to turn the food we eat into the fuel we need. There are 8 different types of B vitamins, all with slightly different roles and functions, but are all essential parts of our diets. They’re commonly found in foods such as whole grains, dairy and dark leafy green vegetables.
This is another micronutrient essential to energy production in the body, as well as for muscle function. Both of which are crucial in any athlete’s diet to maintain performance. Food high in magnesium in include whole grains, nuts and seeds, avocados and even dark chocolate!
Did you Know?
is packed full of all the different vitamins and minerals essential to a young athletes diet?