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  #1   ^
Old Thu, Feb-02-17, 17:09
faduckeggs faduckeggs is offline
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Posts: 1,698
Plan: HF Atkins paleo
Stats: 230/149/150 Female 63 inches
Progress: 101%
Location: Dallas
Default Nutrition for teen gymnast?

Hi all,

My daughter, 14, is a competitive gymnast. She trains 24 hours per week. This is made up of an hour of heavy conditioning 6 days a week, plus training on floor, bars, vault and beam every day. She also runs 30 minutes two days a week.

My daughter, like all the high-level kids at her gym, is rock solid muscle: 5', 100 pounds, fierce. And I always struggle with what and how much and when to feed her. All of the conventional wisdom says to feed the kids a very high carb diet for plenty of energy. I want to make sure she has all the food and nutrition she needs, but loading up on sugar and starches goes against everything I believe is important for nutrition.

I am a low carb lifer -- under 20 net carbs pretty much every day, for the past 5+ years. (I have low carbed for closer to ten years, but I finally landed on what works best for me about 5 years ago.) I have always fed my kids moderate carb diets, not low, but making sure they get plenty of protein and healthy fats.

I'm wondering if anyone knows resources for lower-carb nutrition for youth athletes? Advice? Thoughts?

The older she gets, the more criticism I receive for what I feed her, and specifically that I don't feed her enough carbs. My only goal is her health, not weight loss or gain or anything about that at all.

In a day, she will tend to eat:

breakfast: oatmeal with apple/walnuts and a sausage patty
lunch: sliced turkey (2-3 ounces), baby carrots, apple sauce pouch, beef jerky stick, cashews. Occasionally a greek yogurt cup.
preworkout snack: peanut butter crackers and mango, or a couple of meatballs and grapes, or nuts and dried fruit, or she makes her own protein bars with peanut butter, protein powder, flax, nuts and dried fruit.
Dinner: protein (8+ ounces poached salmon, pork chops, steak), rice or couscous, a cooked veggie, a piece of fruit.

Typically we only drink water, but maybe once a week she will drink a coconut water.

If she gets fast food, she tends to go for chick fil a sandwich and a side of extra nuggets instead of fries.

Do athletes, or kid/teen athletes, really need more carbs? Just when I silenced the furor over not feeding my kids milk, the "but she needs the sugar for energy" choruses begin.
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  #2   ^
Old Thu, Feb-02-17, 21:31
thud123's Avatar
thud123 thud123 is offline
Senior Member
Posts: 4,881
Plan: ~25NC/IF
Stats: 342.2/196/000 Male 182cm
Progress: 43%

I don't really have much to suggest other than setup your daughter for success in the future by teaching her to avoid sugar the best she can. Sucrose is something we can afford to completely avoid, there is no nutritional benefit to it in my opinion. Being a gymnast I think requires a bit more "explosiveness" at times, that my be a bit at odds with experimental keto athletes. I've heard good things about these guys and high level training.

Art and Science of Low Carb - jeff Volek, PhD, RD & Stephen Phinney

Good luck. It may be a hard battle when you see things like this hanging on the walls at school. I took a picture of this a few months ago.

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