Proper diet can make, break your season

This is probably one of the hardest parts about being an athlete - figuring out when, and what, to eat.

No - we're not telling anyone to lose weight, or to gain any for that matter. Instead, our goal is to make sure you're getting the proper fuel in your body to play at your peak. And let's face it, that's what you want too.

So let's start at the beginning - calories.

Calories are just a measure of the energy you're going to get from the food you eat. Now, you need a certain amount of calories to have enough energy to function throughout your day. If you're playing sports, you may need a little extra because you're burning through more while playing your sport.

Check out out chart below with the USDA recommended amount of calories for children and teens.

So how do you know if you qualify as active?

Well, if you are playing sports on a regular basis - you most likely count as active. Now, since you are a teen, you're still growing. Which means calorie deficits should not be a thing you're ever aiming for, given how active you are. Experts with the American College of Sports Medicine say not eating enough can lead to delayed puberty, loss of muscle pass, and can increase your risk of injury due to fatigue.

As an athlete carbohydrates are going to be your main source of energy. You're also going to use proteins to help repair any muscles used during your work outs, and fats will help you absorb vitamins and protect organs. On a given day, you should be eating about 60 percent carbohydrates, 15 percent proteins and 25 percent fats. That may seem overwhelming, so here's a breakdown on what that could look like.

Aside from eating right, you also want to make sure you're getting enough water. Stay hydrated throughout the day, and if you're feeling thirsty - get some water! And keep in mind, it's recommend that water be the primary source of fluid for athletes, not sports drinks.

Source: ERTHEO

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