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Eat right, drink well
Aussie tennis player Lleyton Hewitt takes a drink

Eating the right foods and drinking the correct fluids is now a big part of sport.

Gone are the days of a fry up before a match. The right diet can improve performance and help the body recover from exercise.

It's not just something you do before or after a match. A healthier diet overall will help both on and off the field.

The more your child exercises, the more energy they will need.

Although carbohydrates like bread or pasta are the best providers of energy, a balanced diet is recommended.

A balanced diet contains:

  • Plenty of carboydrates such as bread, rice, noodles, cereals, potatoes and pasta
  • Lots of fruit and vegetables (ideally five portions a day)
  • Protein in the form of meat, chicken, fish, dairy products, eggs and nuts
  • A limited amount of fatty and sugary foods such as sweets and crisps

Carbohydrates are rich with starch which is easily turned into energy by the body.

Protein builds healthy muscles which are essential for growth and help avoid injury.

And fruit and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals which help repair the body and keep it healthy.

During exercise the body loses lots of its natural water through sweating which can cause dehydration.

To avoid this your child should be drinking at least two litres of water a day.

And it's important to keep drinking before, during and after competition.

The added bonus of a balanced diet and exercising regularly is that it all helps to maintain a healthy weight.

More information
Our Sport Academy site has more information on nutrition including advice on what to eat on match day, how to make your own sports drinks and what Alan Shearer eats before a match.


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Sport is great for having fun while learning. And for fighting the growing problem of obesity.
- A Barrie, rugby coach

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