Activity-Related Nutrition

Download the Tip Sheet (PDF) 

Prepare a 10-minute AMA Youth Run Club School Health Advocacy Talk on “Activity-Related Nutrition" based on the suggested talking points, below:

Ask the kids:
Do you think, if you’re active for at least the recommended 60 minutes a day or if you join a regular activity, such as the Youth Run Club, that you need to eat differently, or have a special diet? (Ask the kids: Who thinks you do? Who thinks you don’t?)
  • A healthy diet comprising a variety of foods and beverages from the four food groups – vegetables and fruit, grain products, milk and alternatives and meats and alternatives – will prepare you for any type of exercise, including running.
Ask the kids:
Do you think you need to drink sports drinks when you’re running or playing a sport?
  • Whether you’re out running or sitting in class, your body needs water. Drink water regularly throughout the day, especially when you’re thirsty. (Ask the kids: Do you know what percent of your body is made up of water? Over 60%!)
  • Sports drinks were developed for athletes participating in a vigorous activity for more than one hour. If you are out playing with friends all day or participating in a sport for less than one hour, water is perfect. (Ask the kids: Guess how many teaspoons of sugar are in the average 500-ml sports drink? Answer: 11 teaspoons.)
  • Avoid caffeinated and energy drinks, too. These drinks aren’t safe for children and youth, as they contain high levels of caffeine, sugar and other stimulants.
Ask the kids:
What do you think is a good drink for "refueling" your body after a long, strenuous workout?
  • Refueling after running or vigorous exercise is important; drinking water and having a healthy snack – like cut-up fruits and veggies, cheese and crackers, a fruit smoothie, pretzels, popcorn, yogurt, nuts and seeds – will put the gas back in your body’s engine.
  •  White or chocolate milk is also a great post-exercise drink. Milk has carbohydrates and protein to help your muscles recover.
Ask the kids:
Should you eat right before you run or exercise vigorously?
  • Because it’s recommended that you wait two hours after eating, before running, a good time to do your Youth Run Club run would be right before eating your lunch.
  • Avoid spicy and fatty foods; they’re harder to digest and may give you a stomach ache. 
  • If you know you’re going to be participating in a vigorous sport (soccer, running, cycling) for more than an hour, it’s a good idea to have a snack, like fruit or yogurt or a bowl of cereal an hour or two before the activity, or game.

Talk Support Tips

  • “Build” a healthy snack: Take a variety of healthy snack foods (e.g. some carbohydrates, such as fruit, crackers, cereal, bread…and some proteins, like cheese, peanut butter, milk, yogurt, etc.) with you to the presentation. Ask the kids to help you “build” a balanced, two-to-three-part snack, representing a combination of carbohydrate and protein. Explain to the kids that together, the components of this snack will help fuel (pre-exercise) or refuel (post-exercise) their body.
  • Take some copies of Ever Active School’s “Eat. Move. Play.” guide with you to your school health advocacy talk. Encourage the children to take it home and complete it, paying special attention to the second section of the guide: Eat Healthy.
  • Contact Janet Boyer, AMA Professional Affairs (780-482-0305 | 1.800.272.9680, ext. 5305) to obtain a small give-away item to distribute to the students, post-talk.

Resources 

The Alberta Medical Association stands as an advocate for its physician members, providing leadership & support for their role in the provision of quality health care.