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NUTRITION AND SUPPLEMENTATION FOR THE ATHLETIC TEENAGER
By Patrick Cunningham • Photos by Taylor Bartram
Questions abound when it comes to teen athletes and their nutrition and supplementation needs. Here, we clear the air and demonstrate the positive effect of key nutritents and supplements to give your teen that competitive edge.
eenage athletes nowadays face some of the fiercest competition their respective sports have ever seen. Athletes are continually getting bigger, stronger, faster and more competitive. It seems that someone sets a new record every day now. This is in part due to parents and coaches understanding the importance of nutrition and supplementation as it pertains to the competitive edge. Your teenagers are growing and it is extremely important, especially if they are athletes, to feed them what their bodies need to grow efficiently, effectively and most importantly, healthy. As teenage athletes, their bodies require many more nutrients than that of the average teen to keep up with the higher demands of training and performing. For the average non-athletic teenager, taking advantage of nutrient timing and delivery is not near as important as it
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is for your training teenager. Coaches will demand perfection out of your teenager and will work him hard because of it. Therefore it is crucial that you, as the parent or caregiver, meet these demands with proper nutrients to ensure performance and recovery, which will lead to a happy, healthy athlete and student. Let’s begin by going over a few of the basics of nutrition. For your teenager to develop and grow, especially under the strenuous circumstances that come with training, there are basic nutrients that must be the focus of his/her everyday diet. Most of these crucial nutrients can be broken up into two categories: micronutrients and macronutrients.
MICRONUTRIENTS are the individual
vitamins and minerals your teenager needs to allow normal system functions. These are nutrients the human body does not produce and therefore must be included in the diet, lest the system suffers. Such micronutrients include vitamins A, C, D and E as well as the minerals calcium, magnesium and potassium. A good multivitamin every morning will quench these micronutrient needs and is recommended by the FDA regardless of age. The best time to take these are first thing in the morning and, if you and/or your teenager exercise regularly, immediately post-workout as well.
MACRONUTRIENTS are the dietary
nutrients that provide the body with calories and energy. These are your proteins, carbohydrates and fats and are used as the fuel source and building blocks for your teenager’s
body. They are responsible for many functions, such as energy, growth and maintenance of tissues throughout the body. Without them, the human body will begin to deteriorate. As a growing teenager still in the developmental stages of life, your child needs these in abundance just to develop properly; the teenage athlete however needs even more to accommodate the higher levels of physical stress inherent with sports. We recommend that student athletes get four to six small meals every day complete with specific amounts of all three macronutrients (proteins, carbohydrates, fats). Experts agree that of the total daily calories, 20 percent should be from protein, 25 percent should be from fat and 55 percent should be from carbohydrates. A good place to start is to multiply your teenager’s weight by .8. The resulting product is the amount of protein your teenager should aim for daily. Divide that number by the amount of meals and you’ll get the amount of protein your teenager should be getting per meal. Supplementation is an excellent way to ensure proper nutrient levels in your student athlete. There are many beneficial supplements that, if taken properly, can safely and effectively enhance your student athlete’s health and performance. Max Muscle Sports Nutrition’s supplements are carefully formulated to be 100 percent free of any banned substances and are sure to meet your student athlete’s needs. Next are five core supplements that every parent should consider to help promote peak performance in their teenager.
NUTRITIONAL BUILDING BLOCKS FOR PEAK PERFORMANCE
While there are a number of supplements your teen could take, here are some of the basics. If you want to know more, visit your local Max Muscle store and ask a certified fitness nutrition coach.
BOOST RECOVERY WITH MAX GLUTAMINE
MULTIVITAMIN/ MULTIMINERAL As mentioned earlier, a good multivitamin/mineral supplement can ensure that your teenager is getting all the micronutrients needed to maintain a healthy system. We recommend getting one that is either a liquid or powder to ensure proper assimilation. Consider trying Max Muscle’s Vit-Acell liquid multivitamin. It is complete and highly absorbable. So much so in fact, it is one of the rare stimulant-free multivitamins on the market that you can feel the difference after your first dose. This will not only translate to better physical and mental performance on the field, but also a more alert and attentive student in class.
WHEY PROTEIN POWDER
Whey protein powder has become the staple for satisfying athlete’s pre and post-workout protein needs. Whey is highly absorbable and is quickly assimilated into the body, which is very important during intense exercise and immediately after to quench the anabolic phase. Without it, your teen’s body will not only begin to break down muscle tissue, but also recover poorly at best. Quickly assimilated whey protein powder inundates the body’s blood stream with clean, easily absorbed amino acids so it has all the building and recovery blocks required to repair damaged muscle tissues after a workout. Max Muscle’s Iso-Extreme Advanced Whey Protein Isolate is a 100 percent whey protein isolate with vitamin C to rebuild lean muscle and battle freeradical damage. Whey isolates are highly micro-filtered and are extremely easily absorbed. This should be the foundation of your teenager’s post-workout shake (and yours as well!).
High protein, high calorie shakes are excellent for the athlete who needs to spawn quick growth. These shakes are formulated to promote natural hypertrophy using the body’s own growth systems and, when used in conjunction with weight training, will build lean muscle mass and tangible strength. This is a must have for any athlete who has trouble ‘making weight’ or simply needs to put on size for a more demanding presence. Consider Max Muscle’s Gourmet Gainer. It tastes great and packs tons of muscle building ingredients.
Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in skeletal muscle and plasma in the human body. It is used in nearly every function in the body and plays a huge role in muscle tissue maintenance, recovery and building and will not only stop the body from using muscle as energy, but also give it what it needs to heal. Glutamine also plays a big role in immune system function and cellular rejuvenation. Studies have shown that athletes do not produce enough glutamine to keep up with the elevated demands of physical activity so supplementation is highly recommended. Try adding five grams (1 scoop) of Max Muscle’s pure, HPLC tested free form L-glutamine into your student athlete’s favorite nonacidic beverage or food two to three times daily.
Whey/Casein protein powder blends are slower digesting complete proteins that are essential for maintaining anti-catabolic, muscle-nurturing amino acid levels for longer periods of time. This is an excellent way to ensure that your teenager is getting the required amount of slow-digesting protein throughout the day to maintain a positive nitrogen balance and enable muscle tissue growth and recovery. Many individuals wrongly believe that all protein powders are the same so they grab a bucket of whey (the quickly absorbed protein) to satisfy their daily protein intake levels not knowing that, because whey is in and out of the system so quickly, it is not effective as a protein source for a meal. MaxPro protein powder is a blend of whey protein isolate, whey protein concentrate and potassium caseinate. This formulation will stop catabolics in its tracks and maintain an anti-catabolic state for an extended period of time. Plus, with 30 grams of pure protein per 35-gram scoop, you will be hardpressed to find a purer blend. preworkout drink for any athlete. Given what you’ve just learned about teen nutrition and supplementation, it is now time for you to put together a program and see to it that your teenager follows it. While it is up to your teens' coaches to teach them the functional skills needed to excel in a particular sport, it is up to you to feed them what they need ito allow it. For more information on how to help your student athlete perform better, stop by your local Max Muscle Sports Nutrition store and pick up a free booklet on proper nutrition for your student athlete. Goodbye benchwarmer, hello varsity. MS&F
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WHAT'S NEW: MAX ARM
Max ARM was designed to provide rapid recovery after workouts. The popularity of this product continues to soar and that is no surprise to those who created it. It is, in a word, effective. This year we have added Tangerine and Watermelon flavors. Tough workouts break down muscle, deplete amino acids, create metabolic waste and can leave us more susceptible to illness. The science of recovery shows that there are three critical requirements for optimal muscle recovery and repair following an intense workout. First is the replacement of fluids, electrolytes and vitamins. Second is the rapid replenishment of muscle glycogen and third is the replacement of amino acids to support the muscle rebuilding process and minimize muscle protein breakdown. The 45 minutes following a workout is the “anabolic window” of opportunity. Taking advantage of this opportunity by consuming ARM after your workout will get you the fitness gains your looking for.
With so much false information out there about creatine, it is no wonder it has a bad rap. Let’s be clear on one thing: creatine is one of the oldest, most tested and proven supplements on the market today. Here are a few common questions and misconceptions regarding creatine supplementation:
DOES CREATINE BUILD MUSCLE? Creatine itself does not build muscle tissue. It instead uses water and carbohydrates to pack the muscle with adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fuel source for muscle tissue. This enables the user to work the muscle harder and longer and because of this, it now has a higher propensity to be rebuilt stronger. Consider this: every time your teenager performs a bench press repetition, for example, he uses a little bit of the ATP stored in his muscles. The reason he eventually fatigues and must rack the weight is because he has used up all the ATP within the muscle and now must rest to allow his body to replenish that ATP (which on average takes about 60 seconds). Now that he has rested, and allowed the ATP to be replenished, he can perform another set and so on. With creatine supplementation, he can now perform more repetitions because his body has more stored muscle fuel to use. Think of creatine as an auxiliary fuel tank for the muscle: now it can drive a few more miles before it needs to stop and refuel. Max Muscle’s HPLC tested, pure creatine will let your teenager work hard enough to pack on some serious muscle. DOES CREATINE GIVE YOU ENERGY FOR PRE-WORKOUT? Unlike caffeine, creatine is not a stimulant and therefore will not give you any pre-workout stimulant energy. The only energy you get from creatine is in the form of available muscle fuel, not stimulation. Therefore, you need not worry about taking it too late in the day, as it will not hinder sleeping patterns. WILL I LOSE ALL MY GAINS AFTER I CYCLE OFF CREATINE? Many people lose some weight and strength after ceasing creatine supplementation, which has wrongly led many
to believe that when you stop taking creatine, you lose all the gains you received. This is false. As long as you continue to work out, you will not lose any of the MUSCLE you gained while on creatine. You will instead lose only the added water and ATP stores creatine enabled in the muscle while supplementing it. When you stop taking creatine, your body will slowly go back to the same ATP and muscle hydration level it was at before you supplemented, but the muscle gained is yours to keep. For example, a 180-pound male may gain 15 pounds during one month of creatine supplementation but can expect to lose near 20 percent of that weight after cycling off. Even with the water loss and ATP loss, that is still a 12-pound muscle gain in one month! HOW DO YOU EFFECTIVELY TAKE CREATINE? For creatine to be properly absorbed and used in the body it must be taken with a non-acidic simple sugar and lots of water. A great way to take creatine is to put 5 grams (about 1 tsp) into an 8 oz. glass of apple or grape juice and ingest it immediately upon waking on days you don’t work out and/ or immediately post workout along with your whey protein shake on days you do work out. Avoid mixing creatine in with hot or acidic beverages, as they will break the supplement down into an unusable state. Also, creatine is not stable in liquids for long periods of time, so do not put it in liquid until you are ready to drink it. Be sure to drink at least 2 liters of water every day, especially when supplementing with creatine. MS&F
LIQUID RECOVERY VERSUS FOOD:
At Max Muscle we always advocate the importance of a diet that includes plenty of whole foods. However, after a tough workout many people simply do not want to eat a large meal. Other reasons why ARM is better than solid food post workout: • Solid food can take over two hours before it starts to impact your muscles post workout. • ARM is more convenient to take right after your workout and takes advantage of the 45-minute “anabolic window” post workout. • ARM is designed with fast-digesting whey protein, high-glycemic carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, minerals and cofactors and when consumed immediately post workout can begin to impact your muscles within 30 minutes. • Most solid meals are not “scientifically designed” to meet the body’s exact needs post workout. MS&F
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