Last Updated on September 20, 2023 by Andrew Pirie
Although sprinting athletes are assumed to primarily focus on promoting muscle hypertrophy, the ability to create explosive muscle power is critical to sprinting performance. This shows the track sprinter’s physical form described as “Ectomesophorphies”. Although there is little contemporary data on sprinters’ dietary habits, given their moderate energy needs relative to body mass, a carbohydrate intake within the range of 6–8g kg 1 day 1 is recommended. This article will discuss the sprinter diet, in particular for teens.
Table of Contents
What should a teenage sprinter eat?
Teenagers need extra calories to fuel both their sports performance and their growth. Their bodies are less likely to achieve peak performance if they don’t eat enough. Athletes who don’t take in enough calories every day won’t be as fast and strong as they could be.
Cutting back on calories can lead to growth problems and a higher risk of fractures and other injuries. Teen athletes need extra fuel, so it’s usually a bad idea to diet. Athletes in sports where there’s a focus on weight might feel pressure to lose weight (A Guide to Eating for Sports (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth, 2021).
What to eat before sprinting in the morning? a slice of multigrain bread with peanut butter is available; perhaps a few nuts or even a banana is good for a meal plan for sprinters.
Here’s a sample meal plan for sprinters to follow for a typical training day.
How many calories should a runner consume each day?
A meal for sprinters should take between 6 and 8 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight, between 1.2 and 1.8 grams of protein, and between 25 and 30 per cent of their daily calories from healthy fats.
Physique and Body Composition Periodization
An agile, thin frame with less body fat and lean muscles is necessary for sprinters. Furthermore, sprinting is a HIIT activity. Thus it completely depletes glycogen after a vigorous session. During recovery from illness or surgery, your body’s nutritional needs may be higher. Greens powder from https://www.outlookindia.com/outlook-spotlight/athletic-greens-ag1-review-is-it-worth-the-hype-or-superfood-don-t-buy-until-you-read-this-news-301982/ can help support the healing process by providing essential nutrients.
Determinants of Sprint Performance
Training as a short-distance runner involves weight training 3-4 times per week, as well as interval training with sprint training. Short-distance running is the sprinting events 400m and below. At these distances, muscular power and anaerobic metabolism come into play, and there is no endurance element.
Leg strength is vital, and a good start off the blocks can make all the difference.
Competition Nutrition Strategies
Following a good meal plan for sprinters will be ideal for a typical day’s training. Carbohydrate loading pre-event is also advised to maximize the muscle and liver carbohydrate stores. Sprinters usually carry a higher-than-average lean muscle mass, and the power-to-weight ratio is significant.
Supplementation with the sports supplement creatine monohydrate may also be worth considering in a meal for sprinters.
Several substances may have an impact on sprint performance or training. In longer sprints, beta-alanine and bicarbonate may be helpful as buffering agents. In addition to perhaps improving the intensity of repeat sprint performance during training, creatine may be effective for boosting muscle mass and strength (Tipton, Kevin & Jeukendrup, Asker & Hespel, Peter, 2007).
Recovery from training and competition, as well as affecting training adaptations, are the main functions of nutrition in sprints. Sprinters want to gain more muscle mass and power since the power-to-mass ratio significantly influences how well they perform in sprints. Extra weight that doesn’t boost power, though, might be harmful. Consuming enough protein and energy is crucial for building muscle.
Energy intake is essential because it determines whether increased mass and strength may be achieved with a variety of protein intakes if energy balance is maintained. The majority of meal plans for sprinters contain enough protein. Individual athletes and training demands determine the amount of energy and protein required for successful training adaptations.
However, provided enough fat and carbohydrate are ingested to maintain energy levels, an increase in protein intake is unlikely to have a negative impact.
Good sources of natural protein are fish, lean meats and poultry, eggs, dairy, nuts, soy, and peanut butter (Gavin, 2021).
Some popular recovery foods among athletes include:
- Turkey sandwiches
- Pasta dishes
- Rice bowls with vegetables and beans or chicken
- A banana and low-fat chocolate milk (full-fat milk may be harder to digest after a workout)
- Whole-grain crackers and peanut butter
- A smoothie with yogurt and frozen berries
- Find the food combinations that make you feel best and enjoy! And don’t forget to also rehydrate during recovery—possibly with a sports drink to replenish electrolytes.
Even mild dehydration can affect an athlete’s physical and mental performance. How much fluid each person needs depends on their age, size, and level of physical activity. Don’t use energy drinks and other caffeine-containing drinks, like soda, tea, and coffee, for rehydration (Gavin, 2021).
Nutrients for Teen Sprinters
How many calories should a young sprinter consume?
While recent research from Ladbrokes suggested Bolt eats 5,500 calories a day, GoCompare found that the athlete consumes 2,273 calories a day throughout five meals, a fairly moderate number considering the amount of training he undergoes (Dawson, 2017).
Best food for sprinters
Good sources of carbohydrates for sprinters include whole grains, rice, pasta, fruits, vegetables, beans, legumes, and quinoa. Choose a variety of healthy fats, including nuts, seeds, oils derived from vegetables, lean cuts of meat, and cold-water fish.
A well-balanced diet is crucial for sprinters to fuel their bodies, enhance performance, and support recovery. Sprinters should focus on consuming adequate carbohydrates for energy, lean proteins for muscle repair and growth, and healthy fats for overall health. Incorporating a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein sources is key to meeting nutritional needs.
Hydration is also vital for sprinters to maintain optimal performance and prevent dehydration. Additionally, proper timing of meals and snacks before and after training sessions is essential for maximizing energy levels and promoting muscle recovery. By following a carefully planned sprinter’s diet, athletes can optimize their training outcomes and achieve their full potential on the track.
Dawson, A. (Apr 4, 2017) Business Insider. What Usain Bolt Eats All Day. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.businessinsider.com/what-usain-bolt-eats-all-day-2017-4
Gavin, M. (2021, January 1). A Guide to Eating for Sports (for Teens) – Nemours KidsHealth. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://kidshealth.org/en/teens/eatnrun.html
Regenesis Fitness PT Studio & Gym. (2015). Regenesis Fitness PT Studio & Gym. Retrieved October 9, 2022, from https://www.regenesisfitness.com.au/
Tipton, Kevin & Jeukendrup, Asker & Hespel, Peter. (2007). Nutrition for the sprinter. Journal of sports sciences. 25 Suppl 1. S5-15. 10.1080/02640410701607205.
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“In 2020, Andrew advanced to the position of Vice President with the Association of Track and Field Statisticians, having devoted seven years as an active member. His impressive track record includes roles such as a PSC Consultant and Research Assistant (2013-2015) and a distinguished stint as a Sprint Coach and Consultant at the renowned Zamboanga Sports Academy (2015-2017). Today, he offers his expertise as a Consultant Coach with VMUF, starting from 2021.
A recognized voice in the sports community, Andrew is the Chief Editor of Pinoyathletics.info. Additionally, his consultancy contributions to Ayala Corp in evaluating their Track and Field Program underline his deep domain knowledge.
Proficient in coaching sprints, middle-distance races, and jump events, Andrew boasts a Level 3 Athletics Australia Coaching Certification, specializing in Sprints and Hurdles. He is also on a progressive journey towards obtaining a Masters Degree in Education.