Kids Sports Nutrition

Which Carbohydrate Foods to use for Kids in Sport?


Carbohydrate foods are the energy rich sports nutrition that sports coach’s need to ensure are being consumed by the sports kids.

The kids need energy to supply fuel to the working muscles.  Exercise for kids is not just confined to sports training.  Carbs, as they are known give the kids the up and go to allow their bodies to develop, complete school work and enjoy a active lifestyle.

  • The body breaks down the carbohydrate foods and sends the energy directly to the sports muscles
  • Simple carbohydrates or simple sugars provide the exercising kids instant energy.  For example lollies, soft drinks
  • Complex carbohydrates take longer for the body to break down but have more extras like vitamins and mineral within them.  For example breads, pasta, rice, fruits and vegetables
  • Sports coaches need to promote the powers of carbohydrate foods to parents and kids playing sport
  • Parents should provide complex carbohydrates in main meals to aid the sports kids performance
  • Muscles can only store limited amounts of carbohydrate.  Kids in sports need to replenish the muscles to keep performance levels high
  • The body breaks down energy rich foods like bananas, melon fruits and smoothies very quickly and delivers the energy to the working muscles
  • Kids sports drinks and soft drinks are a fast excellent source for kids in exercise to provide an energy boost
  • Simple carbohydrates need to be consumed right up until the start and during kids exercise or competition.  For example lollies, sultanas, bananas, watermelon
  • Dehydrated kids bodies will not process and deliver the carbohydrate  energy to the working muscles very quickly

Sports coaches should include in their communication with parents the importance of providing the sports kids simple and complex carbohydrate foods.

I carry a bag of lollies (my favorite snakes) to provide instant energy boosts to my kids during training and competition.  

On game day I mix up a weak cordial or fruit juice mix to consume at the completion of the warm up.  

On game day my manager hands the kids a small fruit juice drink and bag of lollies.  This ensures the sports kids bodies begin the process of refueling muscles immediately.

Fueling the body is only one part of the sports nutrition triangle.  Staying hydrated and getting 10 hours sleep a night complete the requirements. 

Watch this clip to view a simply explained healthy eating plan for sports kids including the importance of carbohydrate foods.

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Many interesting articles and books have been written on the subject of sport nutrition. If you select one ensure it's about kids sports nutrition. Kids bodies function different to adults. I have found a few excellent sources listed below:

1. Feeding the Young Athlete: Sports Nutrition Made Easy for Players, Parents, and Coaches

2. The Feed Zone Cookbook: Fast and Flavorful Food for Athletes

3. Nancy Clark's Sports Nutrition Guidebook-5th Edition