Protein is the key macronutrient that the youth athletes need for muscle repair, recovery & growth. But it’s not just as simple as having a high protein meal once a day. Youth athletes need to think about how much protein they eat day, when they eat it and how many time throughout the day. Getting these three areas right will ensure youth athletes can recover quicker from games and training and it will improve their performance as well.
To make this easier, we’ve put together a simple guide on good sources of protein, how much of them to eat and when is best to eat them.
When Should Youth Athletes Eat Protein?
We tend to find that most athletes eat nearly all of their protein in their evening meal. But to maximise building and repairing muscles and adapting to training sessions, athletes should spread their protein intake evenly throughout the day. Try and have a good source of protein every few hours and split this up into at least 3 meals and 2 snacks each day.
How Much Protein Should a Youth Athlete Eat?
Youth athletes should aim to eat around 20-30g of protein in their breakfast, lunch and dinner and 10-15g in a mid-morning and afternoon snack. This makes sure that the muscles have a constant supply of protein for maximum performance and recovery.
After a training session or game, when the muscles have been working hard, eating around 20g of protein straight after will help to kickstart muscle repair and growth and will help to reduce recovery times and muscle soreness. Packing a high protein snack in the gym bag is a great idea to make sure this happens.
What Are Good High Protein Foods to Eat?
It might seem like a lot of protein to be eating at first, but once you get the meals and snacks right, it’s really easy to fit into your diet. We’ve put together 5 great options of high protein meals that youth athletes can prepare in minutes and know their body will be getting exactly what it needs either straight after training or throughout the day.
Specifically formulated for youth athletes, a PRO-TEEN shake after your training session or game will give your body the exact amount of protein it needs, as well as a delivering carbs to restores energy to the muscles and healthy fats, vitamins and minerals to keep your body and mind healthy and in top shape.
Head over to our website to learn more about PRO-TEEN for your youth athlete!
Add your favourite fruits to a blender with a glass of milk and a few scoops of Greek or natural yoghurt and you’ve got a high protein meal in minutes. Throw in some oats or other carbs like bananas and you’ll be restoring the body with energy as well as protein for muscle repair.
Greek Yoghurt with Fruit & Nuts
A small pot of Greek yoghurt will give you about 18g of protein, making it an ideal quick and easy to eat snack to grab after a training session, as a simple breakfast or for a bed-time snack. Add in some extra fruit, a handful of nuts or some granola to make it a more nutritious choice.
2 Eggs on Toast
Scrambled, poached, boiled, fried. However you like them, eggs are a great way to add extra protein into the diet. And considering you can whip up eggs on toast in less than 5-minutes, this is perfect option for when time is of the essence.
Chicken is a great source of protein, with 1 small breast providing the body with around 25g of protein. Get some pre-cooked and throw it in a wrap with your favourite salad, beans and rice and you’ve got a perfect post-training meal that you can eat in the car on your way home.
So, remember, next time you're short on time after a session, it doesn’t mean you can’t refuel the body well and prepare yourself for the next day. Plan ahead and make sure you’re giving your muscles the best chance possible to recover and improve from a tough training session!
For all there is to know on protein, take a look at our essential guide for youth athletes.