We recommend a food first philosophy, meaning all an athletes nutritional requirements should be gained by eating healthy, wholesome foods. A well-balanced diet with a variety of foods and food groups should provide everything that a person needs to stay fit and well. At Fit4Football, we recommend that players and athletes consume nutrients by eating a diet rich in whole, nutrient-dense foods.
Supplement use is not recommended for junior or adolescent players. Unless a player has a real reason for using supplements (e.g. taking iron tablets for anaemia), food should come first and foremost.
- Protein: It’s very rare for people who are maintaining their weight to have insufficient protein in their diet. Protein shakes won’t do any damage if you wish to use them, but they can be very expensive.
- Multivitamins: Again, these are often unnecessary. Try to eat more fruit and vegetables and you’ll have the benefit of more fibre, flavour and fullness.
- Caffeine: This can help in endurance events, but can also have negative effects on some athletes and is unnecessary for young athletes. We recommend staying away from energy drinks and getting a good night’s sleep to aid with tiredness.
The safety of supplements cannot be 100% guaranteed.
Any queries on supplements should be directed through the Drug Free Sport New Zealand website.