Posted by: Terry | 2004/11/07

Teen fitness

My 14 year old son is canoeing a lot and is concerned about what, if any, supplements he should be taking and what sort of fitness program he should be following. Any suggestions? He trains about 4 times a week with a race (2-3 hours) almost every weekend.

Not what you were looking for? Try searching again, or ask your own question
Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Terry

I believe that if he is eating well, then he does not really need supplements. I know that many professional athletes do endorse supplements and openly use them, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it does appeal to the mass market and particularly the younger market, who really don't benefit all that much from using them in the first place. Some of the options I would really suggest avoiding, like creatine, because of his age. Others perhaps are less risky, but I do believe that it would be a waste to invest huge amounts of money in supplements that, quite frankly, will produce questionable results. Therefore, I would first look at diet, and if you want something that will be worth it, I would suggest taking him to see a dietician who deals with athletes. He is both young and growing and also very active, and it may well surprise you to see how much he actually needs from his diet. This is also a good chance to cultivate healthy eating attitudes at a young age, so I would definitely recommend it.

As for the training, I am of the opinion that he should definitely NOT be training twice a day, and probably that he should keep to 4 sessions a week, including the race. Too often, we pound the life out of our young sportspeople by making them train for massive improvements. The problem is that at this age, a lot of training can produce great improvements, but later on in life, they begin to catch up and he will either lose interest or be physically burned out as a result of training too hard now. Therefore, my maxim would be to always make things easier. I know that is a generalization, but I do think that it is the best long term option.

GOod luck

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

Have your say

Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.
Thanks for commenting! Your comment will appear on the site shortly.