Our children want to be champions and they always want to be involved in variety of sports. To be actively and energetically involved in any kind of sport requires stamina and endurance.
Children that are involved in any strenuous endurance sports, the nutritional requirements of their body increases manifolds. This requires supplementing their diet with high energy and nutrient rich foods.
Young Athletes should always eat nutritionally balanced meals to do well in sports. However, this has been always a subject of concern because children and teenagers often restore to eating junk in their growing days.
Strong muscles, regular training and exercise are the prerequisite to excellent performance in sports. When it comes to building muscle, regular physical activity and workout is only half the battle won. Diet, excessively plays a very important role in its contribution towards building endurance and strong muscles.
Undoubtedly, young athletes need to consume more food to keep up with increased energy demands. Carbohydrates serve as energy providing foods for the body. They are an important source of fuel. Without carbohydrates in their diet, children will often land up feeling drained and lethargic.
Certainly, carbohydrates provide energy for the body, but there is a nutrient that needs a special mention here, which assists our young athletes to do their best and give them superpowers.
If you want to give SUPERPOWER to your little ones: Protein is the SUPERFOOD.
Protein is essential for the growth of our body. Without proper intake of proteins, no matter how much time your child spends on their daily practice and regular exercise, they won’t get the results they’re looking for.
The reasons why your children need enough proteins?
Proteins help in the building of muscles and are essential for the wear and tear of our body tissues.
Skin, nails, hair, muscle, bone and connective tissue are all made up of proteins.
Proteins help in the synthesis of hormones, important brain neurotransmitters, antibodies, and various digestive enzymes.
Protein can be used as an alternate energy source when other reserves (fats and carbohydrates) are in short supply.
Our bodies are good at storing fats and some sugars but not good at storing proteins. Lack of proteins can result in breakdown of muscles in our body to produce the protein it needs. It is necessary to continually replace the protein that our bodies uses.
Sources of Proteins:
- Most meats, poultry, eggs, fish and seafood are good sources of protein.
- Dairy products are also important sources of protein. 200ml (1 cup) of semi-skimmed (2%) milk has about 8 grams of protein. Other dairy products cottage cheese, cheese, yoghurt are also excellent sources of proteins.
- Legumes, pulses and beans, are also rich in proteins. Beans of all types serve as an excellent source of protein for the vegetarians. Soya beans contain about 40% protein. Black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, butter beans and lentils are all important sources of protein.
- Tofu, made from soybean, is also a good source of protein.
- Peanuts (which are actually beans and not nuts) contain almost 25% protein. Hence peanut butter is a good source of vegetable protein. But it should always be consumed in moderation.
- Many nuts and seeds contain protein, besides being good sources of many vitamins and minerals needed by our bodies.
- Whole grains can be significant sources of protein. Protein rich whole grains include whole wheat and wheat bran, oats and oat bran, barley and brown rice.
- Even a serving of vegetables has a few grams of protein. Vegetables, like asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower and avocado are good sources of protein. About 40 percent of the calories in asparagus and broccoli are protein.
Animal proteins usually have a better balance of the amino acids than the plant proteins. Hence they are considered good quality proteins when compared to plant proteins.
If your children want to build bigger and stronger muscles, Protein is the answer. It is one of the main muscle building nutrients. Adding protein to their diet isn’t difficult, because we have so much diversity with respect to the availability of protein sources (both animal and plant sources). Besides, these protein rich foods can be made in different ways to add variety.
Different variations of the same food:
- Eggs can be eaten boiled, fried, poached or scrambled.
- Meats can be baked, grilled, roasted or even steamed.
- Beans can be savoured in the form of chats and curries.
- Tofu can be enjoyed grilled or tossed into salads.
- Nuts and seeds can be eaten on their own or as an addition to salads and dips.
You can create a variety in the meals with respect to proteins. Your children will welcome the change happily as they will get to eat something new every day. There is no question of getting bored when it comes to eating proteins now.
Get your kids to eat more proteins and give them the needed ‘superpower’ to build strong muscles.
Problem solved = mothers relaxed = children happy = muscles built.