Youth Sports

Importance of Protein for Masters and Youth Athletes

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All humans should know what things are they eating in their diet. This is especially the case for masters and youth athletes. When most people think of protein consumption, they imagine a grown adult at the gym with big muscles trying to consume more protein for better muscles. However, this is just a misconception that people have. Protein is important for all age groups. In fact, people between the age of 20 to 40 should worry about protein intake the least. Youth athletes and masters should give way more important to protein since their bodies are undergoing constant physiological changes. 

Adolescent Athletes

For adolescent athletes, the key to perfect growth is protein. Their body is going through a lot of changes. Protein will help them not only physiologically but also psychologically. Their psyche about food’s relationship with health is developing at this age. Eating healthy will help them understand how certain things work for the rest of their lives. By eating enough protein foods, they will have adequate energy for their proper growth. Not just physically but mentally too, with enough energy, they will be able to perform better at school. At physical sports competitions, youth athletes will perform better than everyone else if they eat enough protein for energy. 

The amount of energy-deprived youth athletes is increasing every day. Parents, as well as coaches, should observe youth athletes whether they are taking the right amount of calories every day or not. If a runner loses a lot of weight, they could risk getting REDS. 

For adolescents athletes, the need for protein grows every day. They need protein not just for the growth they are going through but also for the energy they need to maintain for the sports they play. Consuming a rough estimate of 0.3 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight of the youth athlete five times a day would be perfect. In the case of a 45 Kg female, 68 grams of protein throughout the day is sufficient enough. 

Read more: Benefits of Youth Sports

Masters Athletes

People’s muscle mass tends to peak during their 20’s or 30’s. The decline starts after they reached 40 years ago. The muscle mass declines even more as people age into their sixties and seventies. This process of muscle mass declining after the ’40s is inevitable. However, this process could be slowed if people take proper nutrition and run regularly. 

Masters athletes should also focus on getting the right amount of protein in their diet. Protein will help make their muscles adapt to the hard training they do. Consuming a rough estimate of 0.25-0.4 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight five times a day or 1.2 grams per kilogram per day should be quite adequate for masters athletes. Masters’ athletes’ protein requirement is slightly higher because they often do a lot of resistance training, which requires a lot of energy. 

Read more: 6 QUALITIES AND MENTAL SKILLS OF HIGHLY SUCCESSFUL ATHLETES

Natural Protein Over Supplements

One thing that the youth athletes and master athletes should not think about is the usage of Protein supplements. Protein supplements should be avoided as much as possible. Acquiring protein through natural food is a much better way than getting them through these supplements. Protein supplements should only be used in very rare cases. Otherwise, eating whole food is the recommended way by doctors. There are also some tiny possible risks of consuming proteins through supplements. People who have dairy allergies should especially avoid these protein supplements. 

You should always maintain a balanced diet. Masters and youth athletes should especially not avoid protein since it will help them in their growth and maintain their energy.

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