Nutrition means eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly, be healthy, and perform at your best in both sport and life.

Lesson PDF

Get a printable version of this Lesson.

Full Lesson

Support a nonprofit dedicated to changing the culture of youth sport by taking a deeper dive into the full TrueSport Lesson.

Coaching Education

Become a TrueSport Certified Coach by completing the three education modules.

Nutrition: Quick-Hitters

Food is needed to fuel your tank, so plane to eat the right foods before, during, and after competition to maximize your performance and recovery.
Be a smart consumer: shop the perimeter of the grocery store first and know how to interpret nutrition labels.
The best fuel for the body comes in the form of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins which provide the body with energy and repair muscle.

Nutrition: The Basics

What is Nutrition?

Nutrition means eating the right kind of food so you can grow properly, be healthy, and perform at your best in both sport and life.

Proper nutrition for youth sports can be achieved simply by encouraging athletes to:

  • Eat a good breakfast to start the day
  • Consume a balanced meal (with carbs, proteins, and fats) 3-4 hours before playing their sport
  • Eat a carb-heavy snack within 30 minutes after exercising
  • Add carbs, protein, and some healthy fats to post-exercise meals
  • Avoid supplements and rely instead on protein from food sources
  • Know that the best post-workout remedy comes from both proper nutrition and adequate rest

Nutrition: Ambassador Story

Watch this Ambassador Story with Tyler Carter or read the lesson aloud.

Tyler Carter headshot.

Multi-time Paralympic alpine skier Tyler Carter’s days are jam packed with activity, so Tyler is mindful of what and when he eats. He needs to make sure he has enough energy to power through his workouts. He starts his day with a solid breakfast, has several snacks throughout the day, eats a full lunch, and finishes his day with a well-rounded dinner. Tyler knows firsthand that the different types of food he consumes work together to make a well-balance diet. Carbohydrates are needed for energy and fuel for the body, proteins are needed for muscle repair, and fats help assist the body in carrying vitamins and make up the remainder of calories needed.

The one tip Tyler would give to all athletes is to learn the art of balancing the food choices they’re making. For example, he loves ice cream. But he knows that if he starts his day with a giant bowl of ice cream – although a dream come true – it wouldn’t provide long-term energy to get through his intense workouts. So instead, he has learned to fuel his body with healthy, nutrient-dense foods throughout the day and to treat himself with the less nutritious foods that he loves, like ice cream, in moderation. Treating himself doesn’t mean eating the entire tub of ice cream in one sitting. Instead, he finds the balance that keeps his body properly fueled and his cravings satisfied.

TrueSport athletes understand that nutrition is key to maximizing performance and when combined with adequate rest, provides the best remedy for post workout recovery. Always aim to fuel for success!

Ambassador Story Questions

1. What was the main point you took away from the lesson?

2. Do you have a favorite pre-game or recovery meal?

3. Do you think you could improve your nutritional habits? If so, what things could you do?