Nutrition for the school aged athlete – Milk and Dairy
Sport is not just for elite athletes, but for everyone and it plays a role in the lives of many schoolchildren and teenagers. In the drive to combat childhood obesity, nutrition experts, sport scientists and government representatives are urging the all young people in South Africa to become more active.
Hydration: School-aged athletes need to drink about 2.5 litres of fluid a day, particularly when it is hot and sweat losses are high during exercise. Children are more vulnerable to the risk of hypohydration (insufficient intake of fluids) and hyperthermia (increase in body temperature), so parents and coaches should ensure that young athletes drink plenty of water and other nutritious fluids when they exercise. Also monitor youngsters constantly for heat stress and exhaustion.
Hydration rules for young athletes
👍 Drink periodically until thirst is quenched
👍 Thereafter, for children under 10 years, a half a glass (125 ml) beyond thirst, or
👍 For adolescents, a full glass (about 250 ml) is recommended ‘beyond-thirst’
Calcium – vital for young athletes
At no time in a child’s life is calcium more important than during the growth phase. Calcium storage in the skeleton reaches a peak between 12.5 (girls) and 14 years (boys).
- Risk factors for low bone mass
👎Not enough calcium in the diet
👎Strain due to hard exercise (over training)
👎Avoiding dairy products to lose weight (especially girls)
👎Strict vegetarian diets that exclude dairy products
👎 Stunted skeletal growth
👎 Fractures and injuries
👎 Poor athletic performance
Active children need 3 servings of dairy, and adolescent taking part in sport need 4 servings of dairy products a day (low-fat milk, yoghurt, and/or cheese).
Flavoured milk – A balanced solution for both problems
Although there are many funky sports drinks available, many young players and their coaches are not aware of the benefits of using flavoured low-fat milk or drinking yoghurt as drinks of choice for hydration and calcium supply.
Low-fat flavoured milk and drinking yoghurt not only provide fluid, but also contain calcium, protein, carbohydrates and other electrolytes in an ideal combination to prevent dehydration, fatigue, exhaustion and brittle bones. Research has shown that young athletes find it easier to drink more fluid when carbohydrate is supplied in drinks with a variety of flavours. The intake of protein with hydration fluids has also been identified as ideal to help muscles recover after exercise.
Low-fat flavoured milk or drinking yoghurt meet all these requirements:
👍 carbohydrate to boost energy, combat fatigue, fill up fuel stores and increase hydration
👍 protein to help muscle recovery
👍 a rich supply of easy to absorb calcium to build and maintain strong bones
👍 potassium, sodium and magnesium to top up electrolytes lost during sweating
👍 fluid to prevent heat stress and exhaustion
👍 a variety of flavours to tempt children to drink enough fluids
Give your young athletes all these benefits in a single product!
Dairy gives you whatever go you need!