Sports and athletics are popular among youth and can get more competitive as they enter their teenage years. Many compete for the sheer pleasure of the sport itself and others compete for college scholarships. Whichever way your teen participates, their bodies need special care during these continued developmental years.
Teens are still growing and developing. Their bodies are maturing into young adults. Young athletes need to make sure they are consuming enough calories to meet their body’s demands. Not consuming enough calories can lead to an increase risk of injury or leave them with a deficiency that could pose chronic problems. Young female athletes are at greatest risk of eating disorders. For a female athlete to not have enough calories can wreak havoc on her monthly cycle, which may lead to the female triad.
Dietary needs are not only important from a specific calorie consumption aspect, but quality of calories too. Teens are highly likely to be influenced by dietary trends or fads. Elimination diets can be dangerous if not medically necessary. Vegetarian based diets for athletes can harm performance if not managed in a healthy way. Even vegetarian athletes need protein for muscular support and recovery. There are a number of ways to consume protein in a plant based diet. If your teen follows a vegetarian diet, make sure they are still getting enough protein through plant based options. If you need help or ideas on how to add protein for vegetarian or vegan based diets, consult a sports nutritionist or dietician to help you with your needs. They will be able to help make sure your teen’s needs are met without sacrificing sports performance. Never try to self-diagnose or treat yourself through diet alone without consulting a doctor or dietician first.
Another way to care for your teenage athlete is to see a chiropractor and sport focused physician on a regular basis. They can help make sure all of your teens joints are in proper alignment to keep them moving in good mechanical form. This can significantly lessen the likelihood of a sports related injury. If you play sports often, it is possible to have a small misalignment from overuse and not feel it. Continued stress and overuses of muscles or joints that are misaligned are what leads to sports injury including chronic aches and pains. A simple monthly visit for the active teen can help to prevent injury and allow them to participate during the entire sports season in good health.
Teenage athletes need special care to keep them healthy and active. Making sure they are consuming a healthy diet and moving with good form can provide them with the opportunity to be involved throughout the entire school year. Teenagers who are injury free often take the love of their sport with them into their adult years, providing them a lifetime of good health.