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Nutrition for the Student Athlete

Updated: Oct 23, 2020

If you have kids who are playing sports, one way you can support then is to make sure they are as well-nourished as possible with a diet and exercise plan to perform their best and recover from fatigue.

"Student Athletes Have Special Nutrition Needs"

Student athletes expend a lot more energy than their more sedentary peers. That means they require more nutrition to fuel them on the field and help them recover off it. They also need to fit eating into a hectic schedule, since there’s typically not much time between when the school bell rings and practice begins, and because away games can mean eating after the rest of the family has already shared a meal. We can’t forget to mention the importance of post workout food to allow athletes to recharge and recover. So, in a nutshell, student athletes need more nutrient-dense foods, but they have less time to eat them. (16-18 servings for elite athletes exercising two hours daily)

Unfortunately, being pressed for time can result in snacking on unhealthy choices like chips, candy bars, and cookies, or grabbing fast food with the team. (Even things that pass for healthy snacks, like granola bars, fruit juice, Gatorade are full of sugar and almost as bad as junk food. Read the labels!)

Healthy Nutrition Tips for Athletes

1.Stack up on healthy snacks. As a parent, you can reduce those trips to the school vending machine by making sure there’s a ready supply of healthy snacks in your child’s locker. That could be their favorite fruit, pre-cut carrot, celery sticks, cucumber, broccoli, cauliflower, jicama, cherry tomatos, apple slices with healthy dips like hummus and spinach dips. Hard boiled eggs, Nuts, seeds, avocado provide good protein and healthy fats.

2. Make your own concoction of healthy ingredients. Ask about the energy bars/ balls using JP Complete powder plus few natural ingredients. has free cookbooks with many recipes for healthy meals and snacks. Complete recipe book offers recipes for Complete energy balls.

3. Fill the gap with Juice Plus. Juice Plus+ gives parents another way to provide young athletes the nutrition they need but may not get from their diets and exercise plans. Complete nutrition bars and shake mixes make convenient, protein and fiber-filled snacks that are perfect for busy kids to eat before or after practice. And while there’s no substitute for eating fruits, veggies, and other whole foods, taking Juice Plus+ Fruit, Vegetable, Berry, and Omega blend capsules or chewables can fill some of the nutritional gaps in your kids’ diets. Parents of college athletes can give their kids an edge by sending JP capsules, Complete bars and shakes in their next care package.

One Stop Shopping for All Parts of the Body

Dr. Paul Stricker of the Scripps Clinic in San Diego explains the relationship between athletic performance and nutrition. One important take away is that athletes don’t necessarily need a lot of different supplements for the different parts of their bodies. Increasing consumption of fruits and vegetables and taking Juice Plus+ is what he calls “one stop shopping” for good health and optimal athletic performance.

Check out Nutrition for Young Athletes: Enhance Athletic Performance (18 min)

by Dr. Paul Stricker Pediatrician at Scripps Olympic Physician Youth Sports Medicine, All American Collegiate Swimmer

Free Juice Plus for Children/Youth Ages 4-college

The best part is that children age 4 -college can get Juice Plus Fruit and Veggies for free if sponsored by an adult 18+ under the Healthy Starts program. Choose between Chewables or capsules. Sponsor fills out online survey at beginning and annually to record the improvement in health for the whole family. The children can stay on this Family Health Study for up to 4 years. This study has shown that children eat more fruits and veggies, has less sick days and stay healthier, and all the health markers are increased. If they are healthier, then they don’t miss as many practices and games and can work harder in practices than other kids.

Juice Plus+ Clinical Research Supports Athletic Health

Clinical research has shown Juice Plus+ can help student athletes in numerous ways:

• Juice promotes DNA protection and healthy immune function

• Juice Plus+ supports healthy blood flow, even after a high-fat meal.(i)

• Juice Plus+ provides antioxidants, a special concern for athletes because intense exercise can temporarily raise oxidative stress.(ii,iii,iv)

• Juice Plus+ helps promote a healthy inflammation response, which is useful for athletes who are putting stress on their muscles and joints.(v,vi,vii)


[i] Plotnick GD, et al. J Amer Coll Cardiol. 2003 May;41(10):1744-1749.

[ii Samman S, et al. J Nutr. 2003 Jul;133(7):2188-93.

[iii] Houston MC, et el. Evid Based Complement Altern Med. 2007 Dec;4(4):455-62.

[iv] Bamonti F, et al. J Am Coll Nutr. 2013;32(1):18-25.

[v] Jin Y, et al. Mol Nutr Food Res. 2010 Oct;54(10):1506-14.

[vi] Lamprect M, et al. Br J Nutr. 2013 Nov 14;110(9):1685-95.

[vii] Williams EJ, et al. Nutrients. 2017 Feb 8;9(2): pii: E116. doi: 10.3390/nu9020116.

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