Teenage Athletes and Protein

Teenage Athletes and Protein

Teenagers have a lot of energy. They are constantly having these mythical things called growth spurts.  Yes, they are mythical until I hit one.

Some of my favorite teenagers

Some of my favorite teenagers…I had to start coaching to make the back row.

So, are protein supplements bad for growing teenagers? No, definitely not.  In fact, adequate protein amounts might even help them get better grades.

Teenagers are known to love their sleep.  They often hit snooze 14 times to then panic at 7:45 a.m. and rush to get their things together for school.  This leads them to skipping breakfast. When anyone skips breakfast they will yawn, feel disconnected, have a lack of attention, etc.  Now, if they were to take 20 seconds and mix up a protein shake with milk in the morning, they would have an easier time focusing during class.

I used to substitute teach and know firsthand lots of teenagers don’t eat well…In fact I watched one attempt to eat a marker.  No, I didn’t condone it and made it stop.  I’ve also watched some of my softball girls’ binge eat donuts for game fuel.  And several of my student athletes are known to skip lunch completely.

Teenagers need more protein to fuel their workouts because their bodies are still growing.  The recommended amount of protein for teenage athletes is 0.8-0.9 grams per pound.  If “Ricki 2.0” existed, and she doesn’t, and topped out at 110, she would need to intake 88 to 99 grams of protein (110 x 0.8 = 88 110 x 0.9 = 99).

And girls if you’re still being skeptical about adding protein to your diet…it will help grow your nails and hair.


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