Coach’s Corner: Food for Kicks, #1 – Diet tips for young footballers

Fanzone features 01-07-2015 PuneFC
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As keen observers of our children’s behaviour off the pitch, we always look to see what the kids are eating and drinking before, during and after training. One of the things that really hurt our coaching staff is to see a player who is technically very skillful, but lacks the mobility and speed to carry his or her body through a game of football.

While increasing numbers of our young footballers are consuming whole fruits, vegetable/egg/chicken sandwiches, nuts and lots of water (credit to the parents for that!), we still see a few of our children eating junk food and drinking aerated beverages.

Surely enjoying the odd pack of wafers and a cola isn’t a crime. However, it is important for us, parents and coaches, as guardians, to pay specific importance to what the kids are consuming because you are eventually what you eat.

Here are some tips to help parents keep our young footballers healthy:

1.Keep off the junk food & sugary drinks

When packing you child’s snack box, avoid sending highly processed foods like pizzas, burgers, fried items, salty packaged food and sugary stuff. No aerated beverages or sugary drinks in their bottles either please! Sweet and aerated drinks actually dehydrate the body – something we never want as footballers. Not just that, a Harvard University study states that these aerated, sugary drinks contain high levels of phosphate that can have a detrimental effect on bone health.

2.Brown is better

When consuming carbohydrates such as bread, rotis and rice, it is always better to go with healthier options such as jowar, raagi, whole wheat, multi-grain, oats, popcorn, and brown/wild rice. These are much better options than maida (refined flour) and highly polished rice that have been shorn of their nutritious fibrous contents. So as a broad thumb rule, the browner a bread slice, roti or rice grain, the better it will be for the child.

Over the coming fortnight, we would like parents to focus on these two points. After that, we’ll share 3 more diet tips to keep the young lads lean and mean! Stay tuned.

Read Part 2 here

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