Young Athletes & Nutritional Supplementation


IYCA Training Advisor, Dave Gleason, posted this incredible question on our Members Only message board a few days ago:


Gatorade is making a big push with its Series – Prime, Perform and Recover.


I have questions about –


1) Its efficacy
2) Its quality
3) Its potential as a viable alternative for the young athletes we deal with on a day to day basis.


Dr. Chris Mohr chimed in with an answer:


Prime — the 1st in the "series" is really just a convenient way to take carbohydrates.


It’s more concentrated than normal Gatorade, but not quite as concentrated as a gel.


I’d stick with basic Gatorade if it were me.


The Perform is regular Gatorade. And the Recover is mainly protein with very little carbohydrates.


This would be more suited for an anaerobic athlete, who isn’t burning through glycogen and doesn’t have to be as concerned
with replenishing glycogen as quickly.


If you’re working with a more endurance based athlete, I’d want more carbohydrates in the recovery product than this offers. Hope that helps and let me know if there are other questions!


As a Trainer or Coach, how do you answer the tough questions on supplementation from your young athletes?


With the endless propaganda that swirls from every supplement company trying to convince young athletes and their parents that THIS product is the one they truly need, how can you possibly have all the answers?


That’s why one of the largest sections in the “Youth Nutrition Specialist” certification is based on what supplements young
athletes REALLY need…


… And which ones they should stay clear away from.


End the confusion and become the clarion voice young athletes and parents need.


Become a certified “Youth Nutrition Specialist” right now:






9 Responses

  1. Dr. Kwame M. Brown says:

    I have a concern about the cultural / marketplace issues involved here. This may be beyond the scope of this blog, but the WAY in which we eat and look at food is becoming a huge issue with children. It influences the way they look at their environment. What we have here basically is this perseveration on non-foods. This is clearly not food, but an artificial fuel source. Just as easy, and possibly more nutritious: trail mix and water!

  2. Rick Kaselj says:

    It has become a trend to consume synthetic drinks when performing sports or other physical activities. However, there is concern over possible side effects after long term use, and whether athletes have become too dependent on these drinks. It doesn’t help that big names such as Gatorade are regular sponsors at sports events.

    Rick Kaselj
    of ExercisesForInjuries.com

  3. Zing Allsopp says:

    We’re battling obesity issues on the one hand and over-enthusiastic coaches and parents on the other. We want our kids to be healthy and successful, but sometimes the price doesn’t matter. Parents and coaches buy into the “success at whatever cost” and if our athletes are encouraged to take short cuts (in supplements, in coaching methods, in training, in ethics), it becomes a character/moral issue, and no longer one of physical health alone. I see it in sports, in academics, in extra-curricular activities like band… I’m so glad there is a community like IYCA, with professionals willing to march to a different drum and uphold high standards with diligence!

  4. Jennifer - Health & Well-Being Director says:

    NOTE: Just because something is All-Natural doesn’t mean it is ok to be consumed. Water is always best.

  5. mike says:

    I don’t understand how you can say that an anaerobic athlete doesn’t burn through glycogen? And doesn’t need to replenish with carbohydtrates? Sorry but I’m disappointed that as a doctor you would make such a false statement. Bodybulding is purly anaerobic and that system burns primarily glycoge.The main fuel source to be replenished is absolutley carbohydrates.

  6. roberto says:

    What ever happened to drinking the old fashinoned idea of of drinking water? If I recall in my science class the body is roughly 70% water not 70% gatorade or powerade.

    How about buying a good calcium. magnesium, potassium supplement and adding plenty of water on top of that?

    Keep it simple guys!

  7. Maria says:

    SO SAD that adults(parents & coaches) buy into the marketing hype of any supplements. Teach your children to drink water and eat a well balanced, nutritionally sound meals. I know parents who spend tons of money on sports hoping to keep their child lean & active, BUT it’s the child’s eating habits that will help him/her maintain a healthy weight NOT activity.

  8. Marissa says:

    Interesting feedback… athletes, as opposed to children playing sport are very diifferent nutritionally. I agree that water is an integral part of health and performance/recovery, however young athlete also need to replenish carbohydrates (both anaerobic and aerobic athletes – of all ages) AND require a good protein source to aid muscle/tissue recovery. However, I’m not a fan of chemical laden drinks which resemble window cleaner – for mine, if it’s flourescent, it probably shouldn’t be consumed and most definately isn’t natural. Nature, provided us with lush, vital nutrients packed full of carbohydrates, proteins. vitmains and minerals to support health, performace and recovery – so why not blend up a water and low fat milk banana and berry smoothie packed full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, good carbohydrates (which are bioavailable) and protein following your young (or not so young) athletes training/competition? Doesnt this also teach our youth the value of good REAL food, and what the earth provides us – as compared with artificial junk driven by high end corporate entities?! Go natural!

  9. Patrick says:

    Folks need to go back to the origins of Gatorade first and foremost. Athletes were becoming severely dehydrated during prolonged athletic competitions – in this case, football players at the University of Florida which is where the Gator part comes from – because we all know by the time you “feel” thirsty that you are already dehydrated and so they created a drink that was better tasting than just plain water with some light carbs to replenish glycogen stores and to replace the basic electrolytes lost from extensive sweating and competition. Guess what, it worked! Athletes drank more, fewer heat injuries were incurred and a major problem in sports was addressed. Let’s get beyond the corporate bashing mentality and realize that in a perfect world everyone eats exactly what they ought to and drinks what they ought to but we have to deal in the “real” world and that includes coming up with reasonable strategies to encourage athletes to stay properly hydrated and fueled during competition. Sorry but when you’re running huge athletic programs, handing out mineral pills and cups of water just doesn’t really cut it. For those who haven’t ever realized it, Gatorade has contributed tremendously also to the sport sciences for several decades now. See their awesome web site at gssiweb.com.

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