It’s perfectly normal to start the year off thinking about all of things you want to achieve in the next 12 months, especially for athletes who will likely have a list of goals as long as their arm! One of the best and easiest ways to help you achieve your 2021 sports goals is to nail your nutrition. But it doesn’t have to be as complicated as you might think or fear. Read on for 5 easy new year nutrition tips.
Hit Your Protein Goals
As youth athletes, you’re going to need more protein in your diets than less active kids and teens. But it’s also important to make sure you spread your intake out evenly throughout the day. So instead of having a protein packed evening meal or getting it all in after a training session, aim to eat 5 servings of protein spread evenly throughout the day. This can be as simple as a large glass of milk or a couple of Babybel cheeses!
Keep Your Carbs High
Carbs get a really bad rep. Especially in the fitness world. But for youth athletes, carbs are your best friend! They’re the type of fuel your body uses for high intensity or intense exercise, so if you’ve got a tough game, training session or home workout coming up, pile your plate up high to get the best out of your session. And don’t’ forget to refuel after too to top up your glycogen stores in the muscles ready for the next session.
Add in Fruit & Veg
If you’re not quite hitting your 5-a-day then don’t stress. No need to go from 0-100 right at the start, instead, Try adding just one extra portion of fruit and veg into your diet each day. A handful of berries in a fruit smoothie, an apple with you afternoon snack or a helping of peas with your dinner is a great place to start.
Get in The Kitchen
There’s no better way to nail your nutrition than getting in the kitchen and learning to cook. Whether you’re starting with the basics and blitzing smoothies, or mastering your cooking with a gourmet meal, preparing your own food is the best way to know exactly what you’re fuelling your body with.
Check out or YSN Kitchen App for hundreds of recipe ideas perfect for youth athletes!
Aim for Improvement, Not Perfection
Your diet doesn’t have to be perfect, in fact, at YSN we’re not even sure there’s such thing as a ‘perfect’ diet! Simply aim to improve certain aspects at a time. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with enjoying the foods you love on top of all of the other essential macro and micronutrients your body needs. In fact, we encourage it!
So, for the easiest way to get ahead of your competitors this year, start with what you eat. Eating, after all, is something that everyone does every single day anyway, so it’s a really easy place to start when you’re trying to improve your performance or take your game to the next level. Making small changes to your everyday habits really can have a huge impact on your body, mind and performance.