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Healthy Diet Plan for a 19 Year Old Athlete

An athlete faces the challenges of getting the right combination of healthy foods at the right time to support the body to physically excel. For 19-year old athletes, this challenge may be complicated by things such as being in college, starting in the workforce, lack of sleep, cooking for themselves, and for men, continuing to grow.

Basics and Calories

Exercising athletes of all ages need to determine the correct number of calories they need to sustain their workouts without gaining fat from excess calories. Males especially at this age may still be growing and need a very high number of calories, sometimes over 5000 daily if training rigorously.

Meals and Snack Planning

A Male Gymnast's Diet

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Planning ahead can be a key piece of the puzzle for an on-the-go 19-year old. Try to keep the right foods available to have 3 meals and 2 snacks daily that are fairly evenly spaced throughout the day.

The Athlete's Diet

According to the American Dietetic Association, college-age athletes who are training heavily need between 6 and 10 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day. Protein needs for athletes in heavy training are 1.4 to 1.7 g per kg of body weight per day. For the 200-lb. athlete, the range is 120 to 160 g per day. Eating a high carbohydrate diet that is low in fat and includes lean protein sources such as:

  • fish
  • chicken
  • turkey
  • beef
  • dairy
  • eggs,
  • beans or legumes is recommended
  • According to the American Dietetic Association, college-age athletes who are training heavily need between 6 and 10 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of body weight per day.
  • Protein needs for athletes in heavy training are 1.4 to 1.7 g per kg of body weight per day.

Food Timing

Teenage Diet for Endurance Runners

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For athletes, eating frequent meals and snacks ensures that fuel is available for training and that muscle tissue isn't broken down for the body's metabolic needs. This meal, consumed within an hour after exercise, should contain a ratio of 4:1 carbohydrates to protein to ensure optimal muscle recovery and repair.

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