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Image by Brooke Lark

Calculate What Your Young Athlete Needs

Doesn’t matter how hard your athlete trains if they are not eating enough!

Image by Jonathan Chng
Image by Jonathan Chng

How Many Calories Does Your Young Athlete Need?

What is a Calorie?

Food = Calorie

Calorie = Heat

Heat = Energy

Energy = Fuel for the Body

Daily Energy Needs

Food & fluid are a fundamental need. They are essential

for daily breathing, digestion, growing and


Ages 6-12yr: ~ 1,600 to 2,200 calories per day

Ages 13-18yr females: ~2200-2500 calories per day

Ages 13-18yr males: ~2400-3200 calories per day

Sports Energy

Sports Energy Needs

Food & fluid nutritional requirements need to match the demands of training and competition.

Energy needs vary greatly pending on sport and level of extra activity.

~2000-5500 calories pending on age, gender and


Signs of Low Fuel

  • Not growing at an optimal rate

  • Low mood, depression and irritability

  • Persistent fatigue

  • Menstrual cycle changes (if not on the pill)

  • Loss of appetite

  • Frequent injury/illness

  • Performance staggering

  • Decrease in coordination, concentration, endurance, muscle strength

  • Other

Image by Johanna Steppan
Image by Johanna Steppan

To Gain Lean Weight 

Need to consume more than what expending on a consistent basis. Food quality and nutrient timing is also very important.

Goal is 250-500 calories extra to gain ½-1 pound a week.

Image by Chris Chow

To Get Lean 

This is more complex. The rule of thumb is to consume slightly less than what expending. However food quality and nutrient time can also impact this outcome without changing calories.


  • No athlete should be consuming less than 500

  • calories than expending.

  • Should not be eating less than 2000 calories a day.


Goal is 250-500 calories less to lose ½-1 pound a week.

*Usually advise seeking professional assistance if unsure

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