Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes – What You Need to Know

Sports Nutrition for Young Athletes – What You Need to Know


– So, because I’m an old fart who’s been around
the industry for like 41 years, I’m old enough to remember a lot of products that have come
across the market over the years. Andro products, there’s so many different
ones you could get as dietary supplements. I remember young guys, teenagers early 20s,
coming into the vitamin stores asking for these, buying these things. And I remember advising them against it because
when you’re that age you really don’t wanna screw around with your hormone levels. You think you do, but you don’t. And there was really a lack of understanding
about what are the kinds of supplements that you can use, safely and effectively at that
age. And that’s really what today’s podcast is
about: sports nutrition for the younger athlete. I’m Gene Bruno. I am the professor of Nutraceutical Science
for Huntington University of Health Sciences and I am also the Senior Director of Product
Innovation for NutraScience Labs. And this is… – And I am Ryan Gillen, account executive
at NutraScience Labs. I specialize in building new brands– – And building muscles. Look at that. – That’s right. And feel free to follow us, subscribe, like
our videos on YouTube. If you ever have any questions, leave them
in the comments and we’ll be happy to answer all those for you. And so let’s dive into sports nutrition for
young athletes. – So look, because I know you and I know you’re
an athletic kind of guy– – A little bit, a little bit. – So tell us about when you were a teenager,
what kind of sports did you take? – Yeah, so I was very athletic growing up. I played football, I wrestled, and I played
lacrosse. – Oh, slacker. That’s all you did? – Yeah, a little bit. – All right. – A little bit. In high school, and then I played lacrosse
in college. Still do it a little bit right now but I’m
getting a little too old to run around and get– – Oh, he’s too old. – Getting beat up by the younger guys who
are just getting out of college. – But I took some supplements throughout high
school. Nothing a long list of anything. Also used just proteins, really my freshman
sophomore year, but I wasn’t really in the gym that much. I started going to the gym more my junior,
senior year, getting ready for college and stuff like that and that’s when I started
supplementing a little bit more ’cause I had an older brother who could kind of guide me
a little bit. But still, very minimal. Taking whey protein, creatine every once in
a while and really just aminos, and maybe a couple multivitamin. But I had friends who took a lot more stuff. Like you said, some of them dabbled to the– – Yep, the dark side of supplements. – Exactly, and you don’t really need to be
a genius to know that these probably aren’t the greatest things to take, but when all
you care about is how you look or you want results, sometimes you dabble into that, but
not really thinking of what the consequences are with these type of supplements. – Now, that is– – Especially at that age. – Especially at that age, yeah. You’re immortal, you can do whatever you want
without repercussions, which of course, isn’t true. But something that is important for the young
athlete to know, their parents to know, the coaches to know, and brand owners to know,
is there are nutraceuticals that shouldn’t be part of, or very limited part of, products
that are designed for young athletes, as well as ones that are effective. What I’d like to do is start talking just
a little bit about the ones that are good to avoid, so that people can get a better
understanding of that. So the first ones we alluded to, which was
the any kind of hormone modulators, things like– – Yeah, and those you used to be able to get
at Vitamin Shoppe, GNC. – Oh, yeah. – They were very easy to get, and– – I used to work for a company that produced
several different versions of those. And they would put warning statements on the
label, but the young guys don’t pay attention to that. – No one’s reading that. – Matter of fact, if they see that, they’re
like, “Oh, this is good I should pick it up.” – Yeah. – And so really the hormone modulators, any
kind of andro that you can get, it’s not as easy to get them now as it used to be, but
you might find a couple out there. Those are things to avoid, all right? Even things that are easy to get, like DHEA,
okay? That is a hormone. It is a sort of a pro hormone that your body
can use it and convert it into testosterone or estrogen and it may very well convert it
into estrogen. You don’t want it to. And, listen guys, it’s not just that you don’t
want to mess around with your hormones, but here’s what happens. If you start taking a lot of androgynes, because
you’re thinking, “I get more androgynes, “I’m gonna build muscle quicker.” Whilst that’s partially true, the other thing
it does is this: your body goes, “Oh, I’m already getting the androgynes. “I don’t need to produce as much.” So you start producing less yourself. Not a good thing, all right? And this is a time in your life when you’re
already producing a ton of androgynes. – Oh, totally. You don’t need that extra stuff. – You don’t need the extra. Same thing will happen with the DHEA, you’re
already producing a lot of DHEA. You don’t need more. – And DHEA is a solid ingredient. – It is. Absolutely solid. – Just to kind of give our viewers a little
understanding of like, DHEA is not a bad ingredient, but when would you start taking that type
of– – About 40. – Okay. – Because some time in your 30s, towards the
end of it especially, it starts to decline slightly. By 40, it’s a good time to consider doing
it. If you’re 50, and you’re not doing it, you
should be taking it. But definitely not when you’re younger. There’s no reason to. And if you do take a lot of some things, if
you’re a guy, you wanna have a balance between your testosterone, your androgynes and your
estrogens, all right? Yes, guys have estrogen, but a smaller amount
than women. But you don’t want more because that has ramifications. And what people don’t understand is when you
take more androgynes, more testosterone, your body converts it into estrogen. You have to be careful how much you get because
that can happen. Not a good thing. So hormone modulators, you just want to stay
away from that. And brand owners, don’t mess around with putting
hormone modulators in products for young athletes. Not a good idea. – No. And I know another product out there, it’s
called SARMS, and that is something that is fairly new. I’ve only seen it the past couple years, and
probably started kind of around five years ago, I think? – Right, right. – And you can get these at stores. – Selective Androgen– – Androgen Receptor Modulator. – Modulator. – And there’s different levels of it, and
I’ve seen, going to a store and adults taking it, buying it, as well as you see a high school
student, probably 16, 17 years old. He’s buying it, and there’s no reason to get
it. And maybe you could let us know why these
athletes should not be taking something that’s so new, but may give you results, but it’s
just– – So here’s the thing: it’s not just about
what’s giving me results this moment. It’s about what does studies show as a long
term safety associated with use of it? When you’re messing around with things that
modulate androgens or their receptors in some way, you wanna know what the long term ramifications
are, or are there long term ramifications? And the answer with SARMS are, don’t know
because they haven’t got the studies showing that. Listen, when you’re an adult, an older adult,
you wanna screw around with the stuff that doesn’t have all the research on it yet, that
is your business. But when you’re young, man, don’t do that. You could be screwing yourself up for many,
many years. – And I know an easy way for these young guys
to see something they’re not supposed to take, such as SARMS, on the label, on most of them,
it says, “Not for human consumption.” – You think it’s a clue? Or, “scientific research,” so that is something
like, “Maybe I should not be taking this.” – Yeah. – But, I mean, people still do. But just be careful out there. There’s always a lot of pro hormones for young
athletes, it’s gonna do more harm than good in the long run. – You’re right. So another area, then, is caffeine. – Yes. – Now, again, like– – Everybody does caffeine. Every does it. – Like DHEA, it’s a legitimate ingredient
to use in dietary supplements and even younger athletes can have some. – And I feel like caffeine’s an ingredient
that people don’t even consider it a dietary ’cause it’s, “Oh, it’s caffeine, coffee.” That’s not– – Yeah, exactly. And to be clear, if you take an eight ounce
cup of moderately brewed coffee, not like a Starbucks kind of thing. – Dark roast, my favorite. – Oh, yeah. But if you do that, you’re gonna get about
100 milligrams of caffeine. – All you need. – You know what? That’s reasonable. – Yeah. – Even if you have a couple 100 milligrams
in the course of the day, whatever, again, not a big deal. But what I’m concerned about is 400 milligrams,
500 milligrams, 600 milligrams. You’ve seen those products? – And sometimes you see that in some pre-workouts
where one serving is between 400 to 600 grams of caffeine. – It’s crazy. It’s way too much. It will overly stimulate your adrenals. It will start creating… You can get to adrenal exhaustion, adrenal
disfunction as a result of overdoing the amounts of caffeine you do at any one sitting, like
that you get in these products. Not something good to do as a young athlete. You want to set the groundwork for a long
lifespan of good sports and physical activity, and good biochemistry and good metabolism. You don’t wanna start screwing it up by weakening
your adrenals early in your life. So include it, but be reasonable. And again, if you’re a brand owner, I would
advise you not to put caffeine at all in a product for a younger guy just because when
the coaches see it, when the parents it, they’re going to be like, “Oh, it doesn’t have caffeine. “That’s good.” They see the caffeine, they may be put off
by it. Again, not because a little is actually a
problem, but because the perception is gonna be, “Oh, it’s really not for my kid.” – So since caffeine leads us to our next topic
of what they should be taking. Caffeine’s something that you can’t really
avoid too much, ’cause of coffee, whatever, but stay away from it in most products. But what other products should these young
athletes take during their training, during all their sports activity? – Well, I’m gonna talk about that, but there’s
just one more I wanted to mention of the one to be careful about. And that is an overabundance of carbohydrates,
specifically sugar in products. I’m sure as a young teenager, you ate a lot
of protein and vegetables and you were very– – Oh, yeah, of course. – You didn’t order french fries. – McDonalds, hamburgers, Big Macs, chicken
nuggets. – And that is an extremely common diet for
teenagers, or even young 20s. The thing is, they’re already getting tons
of carbohydrates. – Yeah. – It’s a predominant part of their diet. What they don’t need is a lot of extra carbohydrates. Those carbohydrates are turned into sugar. If you’re already getting a lot, there are
ramifications for overabundance of carbohydrates beyond what is normal. It can increase your inflammatory bloat in
your body, it can be converted into sugar, rather it can be converted to triglycerides
which are stored as fat in your fat cells. You can do all kinds of things that you don’t
want happening when you’re young. So just in consideration of keeping a balance
in your diet when you’re already doing an overabundance. Brand owners, don’t put tons of carbs in the
product. A little bit is fine, but don’t go nuts on
it. You might look for some alternative sweeteners,
things like stevia, things that are gonna be acceptable– – Monk fruit. – Monk fruit, yeah. That’s a good suggestion. – What would you consider top five, six products
or ingredients that young athletes should be taking during their weight lifting training,
if they’re just sticking with that, or just through their sports training and just trying
to stay fit or whatever? – Okay, so there’s multiple ones. Let me just at the top of my head say creatine,
protein, and adaptogens. – Okay, so let’s talk about creatine. – Okay. – Creatine is one of the single most well
researched nutraceuticals that exists in the industry– – It’s been around forever. – Period. – It’s been around forever. – Let alone sports nutrition. It’s been around forever. The International Society of Sports Nutrition
has indicated that it can be safely used as part of an exercise program for young athletes. – Yes. – The use of creatine is completely acceptable. It’s safe to use in most people without any
kinds of problems. Typically you do like a loading dose, which
might be– – It’s like probably around three to five
grams of creatine, yeah. – Yeah, like around maybe five grams, four
times a day, if you’re loading for five to 10 days, that kind of thing, then after that,
you pull back a little bit and do less. And the effect it has on your body is very
real. Besides helping with energy production, it
also sends an anabolic signal to your brain ’cause your body produces creatine in the
muscle and what happens is, when it does that, it does that because you’re doing a lot of
exercise, and your body needs it for energy. That presence of that extra creatine sends
a signal that says, “Oh, we need more muscle repair,” because otherwise you wouldn’t have
creatine there. – Yes. – So it initiates an anabolic process of muscle
repair which equal growth, so when you take it, you get more creatine in your muscle and
you get better repair and you get better growth. And besides that, the metabolic process– – You get a little bit of a pump, right? – Leaves behind a little bit of water. Leaves someone pumped. – And that’s something else I wanna, like
you said water. So I know a lot of people that might try and
stay away because like, “Oh, it fills you up with water and you look bloated.” It’s not necessarily true. – No. – You might get a little bit of a pump, but
it has a lot more benefits– – Besides, it’s not like it’s happening everywhere
in your body, it’s just happening in the muscles. – Yeah. – So like your gut’s bloated– – So it’s like, I’m working out my arms, that’s
what gonna get pumped. Like you said, I’m not gonna get bloated– – And it normalizes after a while anyway. If it didn’t and you just kept taking it,
you’d explode from all the water. Yeah. I mean, I dabbled a little bit in the creatine
area. In high school I definitely got a little more
educated. Took it when I got to college. But I still remember my parents were very
skeptic about the creatine ’cause of the whole Mark McGuire thing, ’cause he said he got
big and strong just from taking creatine. – On creatine alone. – He didn’t do anything else. – I know, right? I mean, he was hitting home runs left and
right, but it was only creatine. And then once kind of that got kicked out
and realized he was taking– – Doing the juice. – Yeah, a little bit. And I was able to kind of take a little more
creatine throughout my end of my high school career. – Yeah. So that tends to be a safe and effective thing
to do. Protein, of course. You talked about, you use protein when you
work out. – I usually used whey isolate– – It’s a very good one, too. – Or sometimes maybe a blend. Again, low carbs, it was not high calorie. I probably was using natural and artificial
flavored stuff. Probably had some sucrose, but at that point,
I wasn’t looking at the other ingredient section of like, “Oh, what am I taking? “What are the sweeteners?” And stuff like that. It tastes good, I liked it but in my recommendation,
I would start going with stevia, monk fruit type of sweeteners for these same products. – Yeah, yeah. Makes a great deal of sense. So protein, listen, it’s the fundamental building
block of the body. In fact, the very word protein comes from
a Greek word that means, of first importance. And so it really is of first importance to
the body, and most prevalent substance after water. And so you need to have an adequate amount
of protein to build muscle, to repair muscle, and do all that. And if you’re an athlete, you need more than
the regular person. – Yeah, so how much would you recommend if
someone who’s either training every day, they’re playing sports, and they may not know how
much protein they’re supposed to get. Is there a way that – Yeah, yeah. – you could calculate it? – So here’s what I recommend and here’s what
the International Society of Sports Nutrition recommends. If you’re an athlete or you’re working out,
you’re doing this kind of thing, you’re putting the demands on your muscle, you need more
than the average Joe. You need somewhere between 1.4 to 2 grams
of protein per kilogram of body weight. Since we’re all Americans, we don’t do kilograms. That would be some wheres around a hundred
to a hundred and 20ish grams of protein for like 154 pound person. – And this would depend on how, I guess rigorous
your activity is– – Of course. – And how much you’re– – Of course. – Okay. – But that’s why there’s a range there. – But again, not all at once. – Spread it out throughout the day. And I’m not saying it should all come from
supplements, protein powders. You should be getting a lot of it from food. – Yeah, you’ve got to eat your food, eat correct
meals. But that’s why they call it supplements. – That’s why they call it supplements. – And that’s why these supplements make it
easy for after your football practice or you’re in the gym or your soccer practice. Take it after your practice. Take it after your training. – It’s right there, it’s easy. – It’s quick and easy, and you’re good to
go. – Exactly. Now the other one that I really like a lot
are adaptogens. – And that’s something I’m sure no high school
guys, girls know about. I did not know about this until really I got
into the industry of really learning about what these ingredients are. – And what they can do and the benefits. – Well, for those of you out there who don’t
know it, including the brand owners, the adaptogens are basically herbs that help your body to
adapt to stressful situations whether that’s physical, emotional, mental stress. – So this could help out either, not only
just athletes but young students who – Absolutely. – they deal with stress of a lot of work, – Well, in fact, – School work, a lot of papers, and things
like that. – Interesting you should say that because,
so examples of adaptogenic herbs are ashwagandha, rhodiola and ginseng. But for example rhodiola, I remember reading
some studies years ago. It was fascinating. Young guys, or military cadets in the academy– – And those guys got a lot of a stress. – A lot of stress. Academic stress, physical stress, everything
that they’re doing. – Emotional, everything. – That’s right. They were given rhodiola. They used that every day. It improved their response to stress. It improved their energy, reduced fatigue,
improves their performance, across the board. So young people can benefit from adaptogens. Ashwagandha has similar kinds of research
showing improvements in cardio respiratory health. There’s a number of areas. Ginseng is great too, but these are all things
that have value, that are safe to use, and while some people think that ginseng is a
stimulant, it’s not. Not in the way that caffeine is. It’s an adaptogen. And these things can do a lot of good for
you. And so those are some of the major areas of
supplementation that I think are good for young athletes to focus in on, that I think
are good for brand owners to focus in on. You got any additional thoughts? – Yeah, there was one for the brand owners,
for the adaptogens. How would you recommend to package it or,
would it be in a powder, a capsule, tablet? – My recommendation would for the most part
be in a capsule, only because adaptogens, the active components in there are alkaloid
in nature which means a little bitterness. – Kind of be a little rough to drink that. – Yeah, that’s why if you taste straight caffeine,
you go, “Oh, that’s kind of bitter.” That’s why coffee has a little bit of bitterness. It’s the alkaloid. And so you can use anti-bitter agents and
things to help mask it in a powder if you really want to, but you’re better off putting
it in a capsule and just popping it and you’re done. I guess there’s some other things that are
just generally good to do, like young guys don’t care about multivitamins, but honestly,
that would be the point– – And that’s kind of like a normal thing that
people either take every day without even thinking, or they kind of pass by like it’s
not a big deal. But something that I definitely didn’t take
in high school, but take every day now, and I definitely almost every single brand owner
should have one of these type of products is a greens superfood. – Ah, yeah, yeah, yeah. Especially the young guys with the crappy
diet, right? – Again, diet, girls and guys, I’m sorry. I was one of them, too. I was eating fast food almost every single
day, not eating my vegetables and when I was in high school, 10, 12 years ago, 15 years
ago, when these products really started coming out, they didn’t really taste that great. But now– – No, no. – But now, – Now, they take the heart out of it. – With all the flavor and sweetening technology,
these things taste great. By themselves, you just put them in water
and drink it. And if you still have a little bit of– – You can mix it into protein drink or something. – Exactly, if you still have a little sensitivity
to the greens, you don’t really like it, you just throw it right into your protein drink
and you’re great. – It compensates a little bit for, and you
should eat a good diet, you should eat vegetables, but if you’re not, – But this makes it easy. – it helps to get some of the things you should
be getting. It provides phytochemicals, phytonutrients
that are really valuable. Antioxidants to help your immune system to
do many things. And it provides some balance – Oh, yeah. – to a very imbalanced diet which is often
the case in young guys. – And it’s, I would say– – I keep saying– – I would say 90% of the time, it’s gonna
be not a great diet for most of these kids. – Right, I know I keep saying young guys,
but it’s also young guys and young girls, both. And you keep mentioning, you’re younger. Again, I’m the old fart, so I keep saying
stupid things like guys. – No, but you’re gonna need it. Like I said, I take it every single day now. I love it. It’s naturally flavored and sweetened. And ’cause there are some days where I slack
on diets too, and sometimes you don’t get your greens in but take it in the morning
or at night, whenever you want, get your greens in, you got your servings for vegetables and
you feel better about yourself. And there’s a lot of benefits to it, which
is another great thing. – So let’s review for brand owners. What are the do’s and what are the don’ts
to include in your formula? So the don’ts are: no hormone modulators,
watch your caffeine. If you’re gonna put any caffeine, then keep
it very low but probably best not to have it for the young guys in your formula, and
gals, sorry. Also, you want to avoid an over abundance
of carbohydrates just because of the imbalance of the diet already. – Yes. So those are the no’s. So what are some of the yes’? – And then do’s, you’re gonna look for creatine– – Creatine. – A protein, – A protein. – whether that’s whey protein isolate, concentrate,
plant protein. Multivitamin, but that’s kind of a, everyone
usually knows about multivitamins. Green superfood. – Adaptogens, don’t forget that one as well. – And adaptogens, which is the one that, – Those are the biggies. – most people do not know about but the benefits
are amazing. – And by the way, for the young guys that
are like, “Ah, but I really want something for testosterone.” Actually, you can take ashwagandha and there’s
studies on certain ashwagandha extracts where you’re taking around 600 milligrams a day
that showed some increases in testosterone in various age groups. But it does it the safe way because it’s just
working within the narrow range of what is already healthy in the body. But there were some increases. So if you really want something that’ll help,
you can do that, and it’s a safe way to do it. It’s not gonna blow it through the roof and
causing problems. – And that’s the big thing that you said safe. You want something that’s safe. And that also brings back to the brand owners. If you have questions, manufacturers should
know these steps of what do to, what not to do, – Oh, 100%. where your target audience is. Your manufacturer should be able to guide
you through these questions that you may have. – If you haven’t been in the industry for
decades, and you don’t know everything that you think you might need to know to have the
best possible product, you got to have a reputable contract manufacturer you go to that can,
like Ryan says, provide some guidance, help steer you in the right direction and the right
kind of formulations to maximize its effectiveness, maximize its safety and put you in a very
credible position as a brand owner and a brand in the marketplace. – All right, and Gene, I think that wraps
us up for the sports nutrition for young athletes. Listeners, again, subscribe, like, follow
us on YouTube. If there’s any questions at all, leave them
in the comments and I’ll be happy to answer them. I think our next topic we’re going to talk
about is plant based sports nutrition products. – Yep, that’s what we’re gonna talk about. – And I look forward to that. – All right. – Thanks, Gene. – Thanks. See you.

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