Kids Vs. Sports
As much as we want our kids to stay active, and see them excel, doesn’t it sometimes feel like an uphill battle supporting their training regimen at home? There are so many things to remember, do, track, and provide! In the spirit of back-to-school, fall sports, and National Chiropractic Month, here are a few thoughts on keeping athletes healthy and strong:
1. Eat and drink (real food)! Avoid the temptation of circling the drive-thru by stocking your bag (or your athlete’s) with healthful snacks. Aim for a mixed carb and protein snack 1 hour before practice. Smoothies are convenient if a blender is accessible. Try a handful of spinach, along with a scoop of high-quality, organic whey, soy, or plant protein powder, a banana, berries, and enough water to blend. You won’t taste the greens or have to slow down to eat a salad, but will still reap the benefits of all the strength-building minerals that greens offer! Other add-ins to try: chia seeds for Omega 3 fats and protein, or raw honey for added immunity benefits.
2. Avoid heavily caffeinated, sugary, or carbonated drinks. Sports drinks seem to have all but replaced water on the playing field. They do serve a purpose, if a training regimen is intense, and over an hour in length. However, coconut water or watery fruits can work similarly without any chemicals or added sugar. Give it a try! If not, consume sports drinks “responsibly” (i.e. sparingly).
3. Supplement with vitamins and minerals, NOT performance-enhancing substances. Creatine might be all the rage among body-builders and pro athletes, but for a young athlete it is not usually recommended. A high-quality, organic multi-vitamin, along with a pinch of extra Vitamin C and a dash of B Vitamins are a good place to start. Feel free to ask us for help with a nutrition/supplement plan if you have questions or aren’t sure what to buy.
Of course, getting adjusted regularly, sleeping, stretching, and exercising properly are other imperative aspects of a healthy training routine. Chiropractic adjustments can be performed on any extremity (not just the spine) and help the body both to recover from, and prepare for, competitions and practice by increasing blood flow to muscle tissue and aligning the skeleton. However, it’s so easy to skip over the nutrition piece because kids seem to run on anything we feed them, and are just so resilient!
Remind young athletes to be aware of how they feel after eating a certain snack at a certain time, not sleeping, or not stretching, etc… If they don’t already, they will eventually begin to realize how their choices affect their performance. Then you can feel good about making the extra effort to support a healthy training regimen on and off the field. Gooooooo team!