For a Junior athlete to maximise their ability they should eat well, get enough sleep and train. Eating enough is essential for the growing athlete and the emphasis should be on a well balanced diet.

The general rule is that the individual requires 55% Carbohydrate 30% Fats and 15% Protein. This should include five portions of fruit and veg minimum. Protein portions are the size of a persons palm and should be between one and two servings a day. Fats – should be good fats. FAST FOOD XXX perhaps once a month.


To be able to calculate our intake we need to look at the value that food has:

The energy value of       1g protein  = 4kilocaleries or 16.8 kilojoules

                                                1g fat           = 9 kilocalories or 37.8 kilojoules

                                                1g carbohydrate = 4 kilocalories or 16.8 kilojoules

                                                 kilocalories (kcal)               kilojoules (kj)

So one slice of bread may have 2.5g of protein and 15g of carbohydrate thus it will have an energy value of 294 kj or 70 kcal

The amount of Kilocalories a person needs depends on their age, gender and energy expenditure.

10-11 1928 – 2166 1738 – 1952
11- 12 2070 – 2333 1833 – 2071
12- 13 2190 – 2452 1925 – 2166
13 – 14 2333 – 2619 2000 – 2261
14 – 15 2500 – 2800 2047 – 2333
15 – 16 2642 – 2976 2071 – 2357
16 – 17 2785 – 3142 2095 – 2380
17 – 18 2857 – 3238 2095 – 2380

 World Health Organisation


High energy expenditure can need between 7 – 14 kcal per min for a 50kg person. As most triathlon training and racing would fall into this category we should take this into account when we calculate our energy requirements.


The young athlete finds it hard to hydrate and can often start a training session with poor hydration. Thirst is sometimes the first time the athlete may turn their attention to drinking but this is too late. Cotinual reminders are needed.


Water is the cheapest and best way to hydrate and keep the fluids up. Sports drinks are not really required unless the athlete is training for more than one hour. If sports drinks are to be used a good rule of thumb is to keep them to a sugar content of less than 10%. This may result in some drinks being diluted.


Before exercise

Body Weight Amount of Fluid  
Less than 50kg 200-300ml1 or 2 hrs prior event 1 glass
More than 50kg 300-500ml1 or 2 hrs prior event 2 glasses
All body weights 150-200ml10-15mins prior event Small glass


During exercise

Body Weight Amount of Fluid  
Less than 50kg 100-200ml every half hour Small glass
More than 50kg >200ml every half hour Large glass


After exercise

Body Weight Amount of Fluid  
Less than 50 kg 300-500ml 1-2 glasses
More than 50kg >500ml > 2 glasses


 For every kg of body weight you loose after exercise, you have to drink one litre of water to replenish.


Pre event

Try to eat two hours before you race, so for the town races that will be 8 a.m. How much you eat is dependant on how far you will race. An Ironman breakfast may start three hours before racing. Keep to the carbohydrates and what you usually eat, don’t change your routine. Porridge or weetbix with banana and a little toast are good options.

 You may snack up to one hour before you compete but it is difficult to race on a full stomach.

Post event

This is perhaps more important than the pre race meal. You need to get some form of food into your stomach in the first half an hour in order to restore glycogen levels. A sandwich or a banana and yogurt are good easy options( as you get a banana at the end of the town races anyway all you need is a yogurt).Don’t forget to hydrate!

 The post event meal should be high in complex carbohydrates and should be consumed before two hours elapses after the race

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