Athletes have higher protein requirements. Micronutrients play an important role in improving energy levels, blood clotting, bone health, immune function, and protection of body against oxidative damage. They play an important role in repair of muscle tissue during recovery from both exercise and injury.
Even amongst swimmers vitamin deficiency is widespread. Vitamin Deficiency can have serious consequences.
Proper nutrition is key for all athletic performance, it is particularly crucial for young swimmers. Vitamin deficiency in young athletes can cause insufficient fuel for workouts, can lead to illness or fatigue, diminished bone growth, and poor muscle growth.
TOP 3 NUTRIENT DEFICIENCIES IN TEEN SWIMMERS
Protein- As more and more active teens are opting to forgo meat protein deficiency is becoming more prevalent. Protein is vital for not only muscle building, but also for repair and recovery, it’s critical that young athletes eat at enough of it throughout the day. USA Swimming suggests swimmers eat a diet 30 percent protein. Teens 14 to 18 years need about 0.85 grams of protein for each kilogram of body weight. The easiest way to increase protein is to eat meats such as beef, chicken or salmon. Some great non-meat protein options- Icelandic Yogurt, nut or soy butter, chickpeas, tofu, beans and legumes.
Iron- Iron deficiency is a worldwide problem. preteens and teens aged 10 to 14, iron deficiency is the leading cause of “ill health.” Iron levels can be raised by adding iron rich foods such as red meat, salmon, grapes, potatoes, chickpeas, and even fortified cereals. Anemia can lead to heart palpitations, brittle nails, eczema, severe exhaustion, anxiety, thinning hair, leg pains and cramps, unexplained weakness, dark circles under eyes, and shortness of breath. Vitamin D- Most teens get Vitamin D from sunlight. Winter swimmers become susceptible to Vitamin D deficiency due to long hours indoors at school and practice. Food can also help supplement vitamin D for adolescents, who need around 600 IUs per day. Dairy products, eggs, and seafood are high in Vitamin D.