Proper Carbohydrate Protein Balance

I have a 15-year-old son who has joined a cricket camp and a 12-year-old daughter who has joined a badminton camp. Do they require any change in their diet as they are playing 6 days a week?


Most often when young people get into sports they also think a lot about building their body and developing muscles. Unfortunately they then load their diet with lot of butter, ghee, cheese, chocolates, and ice creams thinking that this will help them to put on weight and become stronger.These foods are mainly rich in fat and will only help you to make more fat cells in the body. Fatty foods cannot make muscle tissue. To build muscles and grow tall we need to give a good supply of protein foods. These are milk, curds, dhal, pulses, egg and chicken and fish. Nuts and Soya are protein rich but have a high fat content and so are best avoided.Nuts may be permitted if the child is underweight but if slightly overweight avoid nuts as they are rich in fat. We recommend 3-4 glasses of milk or curds daily if children are into serious sports. This milk about 1 liter can be kept aside for the child and cream removed as much as possible and the whole liter distributed throughout the day as milk with Horlicks, Complan or Bournvita, etc. and curds.



Besides this we recommend one whole egg daily. Even if strictly vegetarian if egg can be permitted it is good because egg white is one of the best quality natural protein that one can eat. Dhal and pulses are another very important source of protein and also vitamins and minerals so we recommend half to 1-cup dal or channa,rajma etc. to be consumed both at lunch and dinner.



Chicken and fish add to the protein. It is advisable to consume it only once a day and preferably at lunch as it contains fat. We say avoid it at night or eat only very small amounts at night if you must. Mutton, beef and pork are very high in fat content so they are best avoided or eaten only once in a week.

Besides taking care of the protein intake we must make sure that adequate carbohydrate foods are consumed otherwise the body will use up the protein food to supply energy which was to come from carbohydrate and the protein will not be available for tissue building.e.g. If at breakfast the child eats only one slice bread and an egg. The one-slice bread is too little after having played or trained all morning then the egg protein will be supplied for energy. Instead he has to eat at least 3-4 slices of bread plus one egg or a glass of milk. Similarly good quantities of chapati and or rice must be eaten at lunch and dinner and fruits and biscuits or bread sandwiches in between as snacks.