Our expert says:
I agree with you that it is unnecessary and potentially risky for youngsters to take protein supplements. South Africans on a western diet eat more than enough high quality protein and taking extra supplements can put a strain on the kidneys. In addition these sport supplements may contain a whole lot of other substances that can have negative effects. Your son will develop muscles as he grows and if he works out with weights (doing weight-bearing exercises). According to expert sports nutritionists, athletes only need about 1g of protein per kg of body weight, so if he weighs 45 kg then he only needs 45 g of protein per day! Click on 'Fitness' at the top of this page and then on 'Nutrition' and read the articles on 'Diets for sportsmen and women' esp the ones on carbohydrate, carbo-loading before important events and protein. Tell the coach that you do not want your son to take protein supplements until he has stopped growing (age of 18-21).
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