Nutrition for Rec Sport

  • April 23, 2015

Coach Responses

What advice do you give your athletes about  Nutrition when coaching at a community, club or rec level?

Share your tips and best practices!

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Coach Joe Leighton – Gymnastics – Toronto – 35 years

“Try not to go into detail. I encourage to drink water and to stay away from sugar.”

Coach Sean Ferguson – Swimming – Region of Waterloo – 17 years

“Sports Nutrition can be a very hard thing for anyone to navigate and understand.

So as a coach, I feel it’s important to inform my athletes of healthy alternatives to what is out there on store shelves; I don’t have all the answers or knowledge but if I stay up to date on current research, pay attention to the ingredients/nutritional labels of products, proactively seek out nutritional seminars & professionals, incorporate guest speakers for the athletes, and to take the marketing trends as just that…trends (trends are not sustainable, but healthy choices are), I feel I am better equipped to help my athletes.

Too often, you can attend any community/club/recreation level practice or competition, and you will see children & youth chugging down products such as Gatorade, Powerade, Red Bull, Vitamin Water, Chocolate Milk etc. often because these products are packaged in bulk and/or on sale at the grocery store (which is more about convenience than anything), or these products are directly marketed to children/youth by showing their idols consuming the product in commercials and at events. These sponsored products are often filled heavily with sugar/sugar substitutes that are not needed and can be counterproductive; most don’t provide much if any, athletic performance.”

Coach Guy Tapah – Soccer – Ontario

“I advise my athletes to eat healthy before a game. If it is on their day off they can do what they wish but as long as they are game ready coming the next day.

My coaching staff teaches our players about the nutritional side of sports, but it is their job to listen and follow what we are saying. We can’t make sure that every single player is eating healthy before a match and in general. Therefore, we give them and their parents a 1 hour session at the beginning of the season on what we expect from our team and this is something we cover.”

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