Gymnast Nutrition

No matter your age, size, or how many hours you put into the gym, your success in gymnastics depends on your nutrition. Fueling your body with nutrient-dense snacks and meals helps you perform optimally and can prepare muscles for long practices. What you feed your gymnast after a workout can also impact how they recover, and their future performance. Here at Nashua School of Gymnastics, we want our gymnasts to be well fed and ready to practice. Read on to learn some healthy snack and meal tips, as well as what types of food are best for young athletes.

Carbohydrates, Fats, and Proteins

Unless you’re a nutritionist or have done your research, there’s a chance your view of carbs, fats, and proteins may be a little skewed. Essentially, carbs are for energy, protein is for muscles, and fat is for vital organ health! Complex carbs like whole wheat bread, pasta, and fruits and vegetables can help your little gymnasts get the energy they need to practice their routines and skills. Protein is essential post-workout because it helps build muscle, as well as hormone production. Lastly, fats are necessary for growing cells, as well as supporting the body with nutrient absorption.

 

Pre and Post Workout Snacks

As we said above, carbs are important for energy. Eating a snack of complexcarbohydrates, like fruit and yogurt or a peanut butter sandwich can provide an energy boost. Eating something dense too close to practice, however, can be problematic. If this happens, try a fruit smoothie or coconut water. After your workout, food should be protein heavy to help rebuild those muscles, with little carbs to replenish energy stores! Try cottage cheese, a turkey or tuna sandwich, or scrambled eggs. The amount of each nutrient – carb, fat, and protein – depends on the person. General guidelines say protein grams should be about 70% to 100% of your body weight in grams. For example, a 100-pound person should eat anywhere from 70 to 100 grams of protein per day. Fat and carbohydrate intake can depend on personal preference, but about 50% of your calories should come from carbs and about 25% from fat.

Fueling a body for a sport as taxing as gymnastics takes careful planning. As a parent of a teen gymnast, it can be hard to find foods that are enjoyable and healthy, but we promise it will pay off in their performance! For more information about gymnastics and our programs, please visit our site here.