In a world of fad diets and mis-information, it is important for young athletes to understand the basics of good nutrition. You ask a lot of your body through intense training, practice, and competition. It requires the proper fuel to recover, maintain, and improve.
The key to any healthy diet is balance. All of our bodies require certain amounts of three major nutrients, macronutrients or “Macros”, for healthy function. You all are no different. A balanced diet should consist of eating approximately 60% complex carbohydrates, 20-25% fat and 15-20% protein.
Carbohydrates are not a food group unto themselves, rather a class of nutrients that can be found in all of the basic food groups. That being said, you should try and get your carbohydrates from certain sources over others. Protein is primarily found in animal products, specifically meats. Fats, or Lipids, which often get a bad wrap, are actually an essential part of a healthy diet. They are essential for athletes to maintain peak health. Try to limit saturated fats (fats from animals) and increase fats from plant sources.
Use the following as a starter-guide on macronutrient choices: