Fueling the Future: What Every Teenage Athlete Needs to Know About Nutrition

CrossFit, with its demanding mix of weightlifting, aerobic exercises, and high-intensity functional movements, has captured the hearts of many, including ambitious teens. As these young athletes push their limits, proper nutrition becomes the linchpin of their success. Here’s a guide to fueling their fire.

1. Understand the Teenage Engine: Every parent has seen it: that sudden period where you can’t seem to buy clothes fast enough for your ever-growing teenager. It’s not just their height that’s changing. Muscles are developing, bones are strengthening, and hormones are surging. All of these require proper nutrition. The teen body is not just an adult body in miniaturized form, it’s constantly growing and developing. Hence, the caloric and nutritional needs of teens are significantly different. Think of nutrition as the high-quality fuel for your high-performance CrossFit engine.

2. Macronutrient Mastery: While everyone talks about proteins, carbs, and fats, for a teen CrossFitter, the balance is crucial.

  • Protein: Essential for muscle repair and growth. With such rapid changes happening within the body, we want to make sure they have the building blocks to continually grow and evolve. Sources include lean meats, dairy, eggs, and plant-based options like lentils and chickpeas.
  • Carbohydrates: They’re the primary energy source, especially for high-intensity workouts. If our teens aren’t getting enough carbohydrates, they won’t perform anywhere near their bests! Whole grains, fruits, and vegetables should be staples.
  • Fats: Vital for hormone production and joint health. These shouldn’t be avoided, but embraced. Avocados, nuts, seeds, and fatty fish are excellent choices.

3. Timing is Everything: The body’s metabolic rate is like a fireplace. Keep it roaring with the right fuel at the right time. Breakfast jumpstarts the metabolism, and helps to wake up that sleepy teenage brain. Pre-workout meals should focus on carbs for immediate energy and some protein. Post-workout, emphasize protein for muscle repair, along with carbs to replenish energy stores. We want to educate our teen CrossFitters on the importance of nutrition, ensuring they can train effectively, recover efficiently, and grow stronger.

4. Hydration Heights: Water isn’t just essential for life; it’s vital for optimal athletic performance. A dehydrated body can’t perform at its best. Incorporate water throughout the day, especially before, during, and after workouts. We’d love to see our teens drink roughly half their body weight in ounces every day.

5. Supplements – Yay or Nay?: Teens should get most nutrients from whole foods. However, in some cases, specific supplements, like protein powders, creatine, or omega-3s, might be beneficial. 

Closing Thought: While mastering the deadlift or perfecting the box jump is essential, so is understanding the fuel that powers these actions. As guardians of our future athletes, we owe it to them to ensure they receive not just the right training but also the right nutrition. CrossFit is as much about mental strength as physical empowerment. Proper nutrition doesn’t just build stronger muscles; it fosters a resilient mindset, setting our young athletes on a lifelong path to success.

Ready to Get Started

If you’re ready for your child to join a group of like-minded individuals who want to see them become the best version of their youthful selves, then come check us out at CrossFit Fringe. Start from wherever you are, and let our expert team of coaches guide you on your journey to a fitter, healthier, and happier you.