Nutrition for gymnasts, and more specifically what they can eat to fuel themselves for training, is one of the most highly talked about topics in gymnastics. Rightfully so, as it’s one of the most important parts of health and training.
In the last decade, many gymnasts have discussed the concern they had for the way that coaches, parents, or other athletes handled the topic of nutrition. Sadly, for many gymnasts, this meant getting very misguided information that was not supported by the latest science or information that was not delivered in a way that focuses on performance and not body image or weight.
Due to the fact that I am not an expert in nutrition, I have always tried my best to find people who are qualified for this type of information and learn from them. Some of these people include Dr. Jamie Schehr, Dr. Josh Eldridge. I have had both of them on The SHIFT Show to talk about the cultural issues of nutrition in gymnastics, and also have had them be part of guest blog posts and events to help spread better information.
Recently, during one of our team camps, I had Dr. Josh Eldridge of Gymnast Care give his entire “Nutrition = Performance” seminar to our athletes. I have seen this seminar many times before when traveling to teach with Josh, and in it he offers some of the best information on nutrition I have ever seen. It is highly scientifically based, supported by the latest research as well as science, but is delivered in a way that makes total sense for younger athletes and just gives them the essentials of how to take care of themselves.
I can’t recommend Josh’s seminar enough, which you can read more about here if you want to get it for you gymnasts, parents, and coaches.
He does the seminar in a split approach, talking to the parent separately before the kids get their own information. During our team camp week when he gave this seminar to our parents, coaches, and athletes online via a Zoom meeting, he was gracious enough to allow me to film the discussion with our gymnast and coaches.
In this hour-long seminar, Josh covers some absolutely critical information on nutrition for gymnasts as including
- What types of foods will fuel their body optimally
- When they should try to eat throughout the day
- The athletic pyramid of success that helps set up great gymnastics practices
- How athletes can build a roadmap with their parents for the entire week.
- How much water gymnasts should drink each day
- How much sleep they should get
- Ways to work around certain dietary restrictions, and
- If athletes can plan treats or foods they really enjoy throughout the week.
Because this was more of a video conference, I have uploaded the entire presentation for free to YouTube here.