Young Ambassadors Focus

YA Focus: nutrition & sport

Just how important is it to have a healthy diet? 

Members of the Young Ambassadors Conference Delivery Team tell Sport First the importance of nutrition and a healthy diet.

Anna, 17, Biggar High School

Finding a balance between eating the nice things and the things that keep us healthy and feeling good can feel like a bit of a struggle, especially with the pressure from social media and big mainstream influencers. But we are all so different. How my body works and what I need is probably quite different to everyone else's.

Sport and nutrition come hand in hand and for many professional athletes, following a strict diet might be compulsory. For those who aren’t in that position, finding a balance which works for you is essential.

Whether you’re in it to lose, gain or maintain weight, or whether you just take part in sport for recreation, it’s important to remember that physical activity does use extra energy and you can and should eat that little bit more. Finding a healthy balance between sport and nutrition is crucial in getting the best from your body and performance.

Hayden, 18, New College Lanarkshire

As an athlete, nutrition is key to my success. In 2017 I reached the final of the Taekwondo European Championships in the -50kg weight division, but making the weight took a real toll on my body as I suffered from severe dehydration.

Since then I have moved up to the -56kg category, a weight that I can maintain. I won the Scottish title in my first year in that division and I'm now supported by Herbalife Nutrition, who help to keep my body fuelled with the right kind of nutrients my body needs to stay at the top of my game!

Ellie, 19, University of the West of Scotland

Nutrition plays a very important role in your everyday life and impacts on your health and growth. It is vital to have a healthy and nutritional diet, especially when it is combined with physical activity as it can help you reach and maintain a healthy weight, reduce the risk of heart disease and promote your overall health.

In my Sport Coaching and Development course at UWS we have covered nutrition along with areas such as biomechanics, physiology and psychology. There are two main types of nutrients: micronutrients and macronutrients. Micronutrients have two categories: vitamins and minerals. Macronutrients have three main categories: carbohydrates, protein and fats.

All of these nutrients keep your body fit and healthy, which is crucial when taking part in any physical activity, as it keeps your energy high and stops you from feeling fatigued. Nutrition is key to a healthy lifestyle.

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Discover more about Young Ambassadors at the sportscotland website

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