Thursday, July 16, 2009
Many athletic teen girls think that because they are athletic, active, and fit, that they can eat whatever they want. But the truth is that you need a good nutritional balance to stay healthy. Athletes need a good amount of carbs, protein, and fats in order to have an energy level that they need to stay energized in a game and in training. This blog will provide helpful tips for girls looking to improve their eating habits and athletic performance.
As an athletic teen girl you need a certain amount of calories in your diet. It is recommended that an athletic teen girl needs and intake of 1800 to 2500 calories. Although, this is just an estimate. The recommended intake of calories will vary depending on your weight, age and muscle mass. You should get about 50% to 60% of you calories from carbohydrates, 20% to 25% of your calories from fat and 10% to 15% of your calories from protein.
Why is it important for an athletic teen girl to eat healthy foods? Well, we need to eat healthy food for many reasons. Eating healthy keeps up our energy for when we are doing our sports or just having fun with our friends. It also helps us maintain an appropriate weight for our sport and so we feel good about how we look to others. Also, when we are playing our sport and training we need to build muscle. Eating healthy will maintain your muscle mass. Eating healthy will also keep our brain working well for anything we do.
Carbohydrates, proteins and fats are all important for your body, especially when you’re athletic. Carbohydrates are the nutrients that fuel your muscles and give you quick out breaks of energy. Like in a soccer, basketball or softball game, you use a lot of the stored energy from the carbohydrates you eat during your intense short periods of exercise. For an athletic girl, you would need more carbohydrates than an average girl because of the amount of exercise you would be in. About 50%-60% of your caloric diet should be from Carbohydrates. That’s anywhere from 190-400 grams of carbohydrates a day.
Proteins are a very important supplement to have in your body. They are the nutrient that repair your body. They help you get better when you, tear a ligament or tendon, break a bone, or hurt a muscle etc… The minimum grams of protein for your body would be your weight multiplied by .37. But because athletics tend to have a higher capacity and need more nutrients, you should aim for more grams than the minimum. This ends up to be about 10-15% of calories from protein.
Lastly, every athletic person needs fat, including girls. We need more fat than we need protein. An athletic person should aim for about 20-25% of calories from fat. Fat helps the function of other nutrients in our body. It can help keep us warm and is an energy source for our body. There are different types of fats. The worst fats are saturated and trans fats. These are fats you don’t want any of, but they are unfortunately the most common. Other fats like monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fats are the better fats that you should aim for.
There are many foods that are great for your body, and there are a lot of foods that are very bad for you. Most healthy choices come form natural places like the farm or a vegetable gardens, and most unhealthy foods come from factories where they process the food.
· Vegetables-all vegies have a great amount of minerals, viatmins, and can also diseases.
· Pasta, bread-a good way to get your daily carbohydrates
· Locally grown-these are not processed and are the freshest foods, find them in you local farmers markets
· Bananas- have a great amount of potassium to prevent muscle cramps during activity
· Smoothies-smoothies are filled with vitamins, minerals and enzymes which are good for your digestive system.
· Processed food- this food tends to have added hormones and fake additives in the food, many even have harmful chemicals
· Caffeine Drinks-these are bad for you and are the unnatural energy for you body.
· Foods Fried in Grease/Oil-these are high in trans/saturated fats, MSG, sodium (which you should also avoid), these foods are bad and can clog your arteries
Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat bread (134) and four tablespoons of peanut butter (376).
Snacks: 1 banana (172)
Lunch: Chicken Caesar salad wraps (306)
Snacks: A whole apple (81) and 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (188)
Dinner: 1 grilled chicken breast and a dash of salt (172) half a cup of broccoli (27) and 2 cups of brown rice (218)
Dessert: 1 Skinny Cow Fat Free Fudge Bar (100)
Breakfast: 1 hard boil egg with a pinch of salt (80) and half a bagel (75) with 4 turkey slices (80)
Snacks: 30 grapes (90)
Lunch: Greek Salad (158) and 4 ounces of Smoked Salmon (159)
Snack: 2 Slice of Cheese (226) and 12 crackers (156)
Dinner: 1-½ cups of Whole wheat Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (373) with a slice of whole wheat bread (69)
Dessert: 2 cups of Strawberries (92) with Cool Whip (25)
Breakfast: 2 slices of whole wheat toast (69) 2 tablespoons of peanut butter (188) and a banana (172) and 2 cups of orange juice (244)
Snack: a cup of edamame (200)
Lunch: Tuna Sandwiches on wheat bread (329) an apple (81) and a cup of milk (86)
Snack: Hummus (135) on Pita bread (165)
Dinner: 1 serving of Chicken and Vegetable Stir Fry (350)
Dessert: ½ a cup of low fat Chocolate pudding (90)
Athletic teen girls need to eat healthy not just to improve their performance during training and competition, but also to improve their health throughout the rest of their life. Active girls need carbs to keep up their energy during training and competition and protein to help muscle development and to keep from getting injured. We hope that this blog has inspired many girls to want to improve their lifestyle by eating healthier.