Nutrition

As a general rule when preparing for intense exercise players should not eat a big meal within 3 hours of play.  Obviously, this is not always possible.  However, it is something you can move towards.  Eating before training/competition is NOT recommended.   If anything it is better to play a bit hungry and eat after the match.  For athletes of the age that participate in CAO activities the most important thing is that they are eating a balanced healthy diet, and drinking plenty of water.

How much water should my child be drinking?  This is not always an easy question to answer.  Kids are different sizes and activities are performed at varying rates of intensity.   However, as a general rule, children should drink water during meals, when the weather is warm, while playing sports or exercising, and when playing outdoors (KidsHealth).

Obviously, we experience hot conditions here in Thailand so water consumption is very important.  Although, over hydration is a possibility it is quite rare.  Your child’s body has the ability to regulate its water levels.  A balanced approach to water consumption will avoid chances of over hydration.  Don’t try and drink all your water in one go,  balance it out throughout the day.

Clues for a dehydrated child….If your child seems tired or has a headache, it could be a sign that she needs more water. Your child’s urine also reveals his/her hydration level: When his/her urine is dark yellow or smelly, it’s a sign she’s not getting enough water. Don’t rely on your child’s thirst to let you know when he/she needs water, people are usually already dehydrated by the time they feel thirsty.

Half-time snacks are tricky.  If fruit is being served, it’s best to keep it to a minimum (one slice of orange).  Why?  The fructose in fruit slows down digestion in the stomach and will leave players feeling slower and more lethargic after their half-time snack.  The halftime foods that would be better are fast carbohydrates (not including fruits), water and then salt. A great halftime snack is something like a pretzel and water.  Stay away from juice, because it has a lot of fructose.

Slow Carbohydrate: Slow Carbohydrate is the one which breaks slowly and create energy at a regular speed. One very important role this slow carbs is that they keep your blood sugar stable, and if you want to be in fat-burning zone throughout the day, stable blood sugar level is what you want to have. Brown rice, wheat bread, salads and fruits (not too sweet) are the slow carbs.

Fast Carbohydrate : Fast carbohydrate is the one which takes less time to break down the foods. They also produce energy very quickly. Fast carbs trigger your body to release a Insulin. Though the one of the main function of insulin is to to pull the sugars from your bloods into the cells for energy, excessive insulin ( triggered because of intake of fast carbs) works to store the extra carbs as fat. Table sugar, sweet fruits, white pasta, white bread, white rice, fries and dessert are fast carbs.