Fuel your body

Date: 2011


Find out what your body needs

As a teenage athlete, your active lifestyle and growing body means you have special nutritional needs. You need to start with the basics of a healthy and varied diet. There are no quick fixes – supplements, in particular, are not recommended for teenagers.

This booklet is packed with information about what to eat and drink to perform at your best in sport, stay healthy and feel great.

Get the most from your body

  • Never skip meals – especially breakfast
  • Drink plenty of fluids
  • Eat good sources of protein every day
  • Eat lots of carbohydrate foods throughout the day
  • Don’t forget fats are important – choose healthier food sources
  • Eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables each day
  • Include good sources of iron and calcium – you need more of these nutrients than other ages
  • Make sure you enjoy your meals and snacks
  • After intense sport you will be more hungry, don’t ignore these hunger signals
  • Get enough rest and sleep – give your body time to grow and recover

Topics covered in this booklet

  • Find out what your body needs
  • Get the basics right
  • Fuels for exercise - Carbohydrate, fat and protein
  • Eat well - Vitamins, minerals, iron and calcium
  • Fluids - Keep you cool
  • Sports supplements
  • Putting it all into practice
  • Plan ahead
  • What and when should I eat and drink?


This booklet developed by safefood in partnership with the Irish Nutrition and Dietetic Institute (INDI) in the Republic of Ireland and the British Dietetic Association in Northern Ireland, provides general advice for 13 - 17 year olds who are involved in sport. For more specific advice, contact a sports dietitian.

ROI booklet cover  
NI booklet cover
Download NI booklet (PDF, 3MB)   Download ROI booklet (PDF, 3MB)

a collage of youngsters competing in different sports