Adolescents who play sports are often interested in protein powder and shakes to help “improve their performance.”
Is this appropriate, let alone helpful? Essentially, no. Sports dietitians generally agree that if a balanced diet is consumed, protein supplements are not necessary for adults.
Furthermore, there is a lack of definitive research on these types of supplements, particularly in children. What might be appropriate for adults in specific athletic situations does not translate to kids in the wide age range of 12-18. Teen growth and development is unique.
Young athletes do need to watch energy and fluid intake. As activity levels increase, so must energy intake and careful attention should be paid to meeting daily requirements of certain micronutrients like calcium, iron and B vitamins. While additional protein is important, making quality protein choices is key.
It is important to note that over-consumption of protein fr...
Iron is a mineral that exists in every single living cell. Its main job? To help our red blood cells carry oxygen to the rest of the body. It is also necessary for making important substances our bodies need, like amino acids (the building blocks of protein), hormones, enzymes (to digest food!) and to make new cells.
Iron storage is limited and when enough iron is not taken in from foods, these stores can be easily used up. If iron stores are low, you may start to notice that you don’t feel all that well.
This can all be easily fixed by consuming more iron-rich foods! Iron is found in both plant and animal foods. Animal sources include meat, poultry and fish. Plant sources include raisins, green leafy vegetables, lentils and beans, soy foods, and iron-fortified cereals,...
Vitamin D is quite unique. Both a vitamin we consume and a hormone we make, it is often referred to as the sunshine vitamin because the process of making it in our bodies is initiated by sunlight hitting our skin (and is ultimately synthesized in the kidneys).
We can also get vitamin D from food sources. But the truth is, it’s actually pretty difficult to get adequate vitamin D from foods. Few foods are actually good sources (fatty fish like tuna and salmon are!), and most of those sources are fortified (like dairy products and breakfast cereals). Because of this, vitamin D has recently been the subject of much research and discussion.It is thought that 1 billion people worldwide have low blood levels of vitamin D. This is especially problematic for those living in northern latitudes where the type of sunlight exposure necessary for adequate vitamin D synthesis isn’t up to par for the majority of the year.