Refueling Youth Athletes in Under 500 Words

Refueling needs depend largely on the type and duration of training completed, body composition goals, and overall personal preferences. This blog will focus solely on refueling post-training.

  • Rehydrate: Ingest fluids and electrolytes during and immediately after training within 30-minutes to jumpstart the recovery process.
  • Refuel: Post-training, carbohydrates are needed to restore glycogen paired with protein to repair muscle damage that occurred during training. The goal of refueling is to promote both muscle repair and muscle protein synthesis.
    • The American College of Sports Medicine recommends 1.2 to 2.0 g of protein per kilogram of body weight per day for athletes, depending on the type of training.
    • Refilling your glycogen stores as an athlete should be a priority, especially when completing back-to-back training sessions.

Why prioritize refueling?

By immediately consuming a high-quality protein paired with a carbohydrate post-training you can enhance muscle gain, muscle growth, reduce time to recovery between back-to-back training sessions, increase overall performance, and decrease the risk of injuries, as well as fighting off on-set fatigue. Are you refueling a two-a-day? Build a plate that supports both training and recovery demands!

A post-training meal is key to support recovery and training.  Consume 25-40 grams of protein paired with 50-100 grams of carbohydrates within 30 minutes of activity for reducing muscle breakdown and supporting training adaptations. More information on recovery nutrition here.

Soft reminder with regard to protein intake: WE USE WHAT WE NEED according to the ISSN Position Stand on Protein and Exercise . We use what we need.  This means for many athletes can benefit from consuming closer to the 40g post-training due to limited protein intake at other meals or the quality of the protein. But at the least follow my “25-50-30 rule”

Smart supplements

  • Creatine is one of the most widely investigated supplements with proven ergogenic benefits along with recovery from intense training. Creatine paired with a carbohydrate immediately post-resistance training is superior to pre-workout in terms of body composition and strength. Creatine is insulin-mediated so it requires a carbohydrate. Use creatine in your chocolate milk, Greek yogurt parfait, or pair with a protein banana shake. For guidance on supplementing with creatine monohydrate see my previous blog here.
  • 8 oz. of tart cherry juice following exercise can help reduce inflammation, muscle soreness and can even aid in reducing upper respiratory tract symptoms all of which contribute to minimizing the risk of injury, according to a study published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
  • Low-fat chocolate milk has also been proven an effective refueling choice offering electrolytes, carbohydrates, 8 grams of high-quality protein, and the scientifically proven 3:1 ratio for recovery.

Wishing you blessings of health, wellness, and optimal performance,

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, CISSN

Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, is a registered dietitian nutritionist, and performance coach. Wendi utilizes evidence-based science to tailor nutrition programs for athletes to optimize performance, minimize health risks, and enhance recovery from training while focusing on injury prevention. She partners with parents, sports performance staff, and special needs and recreational athletes to offer nutritional guidance and optimal athletic performance and lifestyle plans. Wendi provides virtual services including telehealth but based in Grand Rapids, Michigan. Wendi works with clients of all levels and ages across the US as well as Canada and the UK. You can find more about Wendi and scheduling an appointment with her on her website.

What can hiring a sports nutritionist offer your program? Learn more here. Testimonials of Wendi’s expertise from colleges, coaches, parents, young athletes, and high school administrators can be found at the testimonial link on her website. You can also follow Wendi on TwitterFacebook, and Instagram for more nutrition information. Service

A Humble Note of Thanks to the ISSN!

In 2014 I left my comfortable corporate fitness and wellness job to become a performance dietitian to work with athletes (chase my dreams).  This journey would require me to complete another BS, a Master of Science, along with my dietetic internship and national board examination for dietitians. During my MS I was always doing my research around sports nutrition, vitamin D for athletes, and supplements. Using any chance I could to transform a clinical project into a sports-focused one.
During my graduate nutrition program, I felt like the black sheep. I was told “clinical” is the only way to go and that it’s darn near impossible to work in sports nutrition. I knew clinical dietetics was not for me and did not agree with much of what was taught.
I felt frustrated until I found out about the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), I quickly ordered, “Sports Nutrition & Performance Enhancing Supplements”,  by @supphd and @asmithryan that I would read any free chance I had between working with sports teams and completing my studies.
I remember saying to myself, this book is amazing! I wish I could meet both of these brilliant scientists someday and thank them for fueling my passion and knowledge.
I began reading the ISSN Position stand papers which led to my love of sports science. I  then took to Twitter posting relentlessly illustrating the ISSN’s position stand papers findings, takeaways, and practical applications for both coaches and athletes. I used all the emojis.
I learned quickly how much misinformation existed on Twitter which significantly ️fueled my passion to promote as much evidence-based information as possible. I committed myself to become a credible sports nutrition resource and dietitian that was open-minded to science.
I attended my first ISSN conference in 2016 in Clearwater Beach Florida and the rest is history. Everyone at the ISSN welcomed me and made me feel comfortable to ask questions, learn and even foster relationships! The ISSN has become like family to me.
Joey, Erik, Trisha, Abby, and many others treated me like family. They were kind, welcoming, and supported me as I grew over the years in my work, studies, and more. To know these people as friends, role models, and mentors is something totally unexpected. I highly recommend you join and learn for yourself how great this organization is. I have learned so much as a practitioner that I have implemented into practice with my clients, athletes, and fellow dietitians.
It is a real honor to be recognized by the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), for my contributions in translating the science into practical applications for coaches, athletes, and more.  I remember tweeting studies using emojis in the early days of 2015 and people like Dr. Rob Wildman, Chief Science Officer Dymatize told me, “Hey, that’s good stuff keep posting.” Dr. Rob’s comment meant a lot to me as a young student given his robust knowledge and work in the field.
So, I kept sharing the science with the goal to always reduce the misinformation and help guide people away from fear, fads, and lies. The ISSN has so many great position stand papers illustrating the science behind using creatine monohydrate, beta-alanine, caffeine, higher-protein diets, and more. Go check them out as they have served as a significant basis of many of my tweets over the years. A huge thank you for this recognition and honor! I also can’t wait to be a presenter next year as well!  This organization has helped me become the credible performance nutrition expert I am today. All glory to God and thank you to the ISSN.
The ISSN– Why Go Anywhere Else? Be sure to follow along on Instagram , Facebook and Twitter for all things health, wellness and performance nutrition!
In good health and all glory to God,
Wendi Irlbeck, MS, RDN, CISSN