“Fuel up” Your Kids Before High Energy Activities
Just as your car needs enough gasoline to get you where you need to go, your kids’ bodies need enough “fuel” to get them where they need to go. Poor quality gasoline can cause cars to knock and experience other performance difficulties; poor quality “fuel” for kids can also cause performance difficulties. What kinds of “fuel” are high quality and get your kids where they need to go when they are embarking on high energy activities (i.e., sports practice, dance class, etc.)?
Water is essential. Your kids should consistently drink plenty of fresh water. Fruit juices (100% juice, not juicy drinks) are also good beverage selections. Sports drinks are good choices when consumed on the day of the high energy activities.
Three days in advance of your kids’ high energy activities, your kids should be “carbo-loading”. That means that a greater proportion of their daily caloric intake should consist of carbohydrates (carbs fuel muscles). Carbohydrates include whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and beans. How about oatmeal with a banana or blueberries for breakfast? Pastas with bread, a fruit, and a vegetable can be great dinners. Anybody up for an energy bar with a few strawberries at snack time? Fatty foods should be avoided as they diminish athletic performance.
Three to four hours in advance of your kids’ high energy activities, your kids should have a light meal consisting of their choices among the following: fresh fruit, bread/a bagel, pasta, a baked potato, yogurt, and water. If your kids eat a heavy meal in the four hours preceding high energy activities, they can experience nausea, cramping, and reduced performance during the high energy activity.
One half hour in advance of your kids’ high energy activities, your kids should have a small amount of fresh fruit and 1 c. to 1.5 c. of a sports drink.
A common misperception is that sugar boosts energy and performance. In actuality, sugar consumption can cause a temporary spike, but it’s short-lived and plummets shortly thereafter. Sugar consumption, then, generally reduces athletic performance.
Another common misperceptions is that caffeine (a stimulant) boosts energy and performance. While caffeine does increase endurance, it comes at a cost. Your kids can develop a “need” for or perceived dependence on caffeine, thus increasing their total consumption of caffeine. Caffeine, when consumed in larger quantities, can cause nausea, muscle tremors, headaches, and dehydration.
In sum, by skipping over the “quick fixes” of sugar and caffeine, and instead focusing on maintaining a regimen of balanced meals comprised by water, carbohydrates, and other essential vitamins and minerals, your kids will be able to maximize their athletic performance on a sustained basis.
For other helpful tips; continue to visit Nannies4hire.com.