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Supplements: is there a place for them in athlete development?

A topic that is often filled with misinterpretation to misinformation it is so incredibly critical to be mindful of these mishaps to missteps to ensure players to athletes are educated and afforded education that points towards optimal performance practices. For the otherwise healthy player/athlete there is in fact no need to add supplements to their nutrition intake. Specifically for those inside the developmental years, all dietary requirements can and should be consumed through regular nutrition with vitamins and minerals from their direct food sources — fruits and vegetables. It is important to remember here that this is generalised advice for the healthy individual opposed to a child and/or adolescent that may be required to take a form of medication to help with an underlying condition. There is big difference.

Supplements should not replace general nutrition, it is that simple.

Irrespective if you follow a specific diet by choice, it remains pertinent to make sure you’re getting ‘enough’ from the primary food groups to equip you with the energy you need to perform at your best. If we’re narrowing in on optimal performance practices, it starts with natural fuel intake — not supplementary, to begin. Players to athletes need to learn to build their baseline and the respective energy sources — protein, fats to carbohydrates and to complement these with the respective vitamins and minerals directly from their food source.

And whilst their is a role for supplements in sport, there is no need for them in athlete development — until that athlete has exhausted their direct nutritional intake and only then if and/or when they’re coming up short, are supplements an alternative. But, and this is a huge BUT — only if as they are not the answer. For the player/athlete who is at their peak and undertaking a rigorous training load, be mindful of these mishaps and let your nutrition guide you whilst also being open to supplements when that time comes (not before) to ensure your education around nutrition and your energy sources work directly for you — not against.

For a nutrition resource, we have you covered — The Secrets to Optimal Wellbeing was designed for exactly this, as an educational tool to help guide coaches, parents and players/athletes. As a generalised guide opposed to athlete nutrition model, it will help you understand your baseline level as a starting point to build upon and get more creative!

Listen to this week’s episode on Spotify, Apple, Google to Amazon Podcasts with all the links available at Beyond Top 10 Tennis.