Deficits in a diet of a young sportsman

There are many vitamins and mineral components which promote our health. In a young player’s diet we can distinguish a few specific ones which require more attention and those are calcium, iron, vitamin D.

Vitamin D

Some populations of adolescent sportsmen are exposed to a greater risk of vitamin D deficiency. Main reason for that is insufficient sun exposure. Low status of vitamin D among children and youth can weaken the efficiency, increase the risk of injuries, interfere with calcium absorption. We can find it in some grocery products such as eggs, fish, dairy products – consumed as a nutrient are not enough. Sun exposure or supplementation is necessary to obtain a proper level of vitamin D. In our latitude daily 15-minute sun exposure during hours from 10 am to 3 pm, since May till August with exposed forearms and lower part of the legs without sun protection is enough for the synthesis of vitamin D. People who do not expose themselves to the sun, require supplementation, for children and youth in a range from 600 to 1000 IU. The reasonable course of action is to monitor the status of vitamin D by carrying out the test of 25-hydroxy level of vitamin D in blood serum.


It is responsible for skeleton structure, nervous system and muscle contracture. The need for calcium during adolescence period is higher than for adults due to the fact of significant skeletal growth which ranges from 1000 to 1300mg. It is estimated that during adolescence period daily skeletal growth rate is 300 mg. Calcium can be found in various grocery products and drinks among others yoghurts, milk, rennet cheese, broccoli, spinach, kale, sunflower seeds.


Iron provides oxygen to the body tissues, affects the immune system and takes part in the thermoregulatory processes (generation and loss of body heat). Many young sportsmen suffer from iron deficiency, especially girls. Reasons for that may vary: poor food choices, higher iron losses (urine, faeces, sweat, period). In order to ensure proper iron intake, attention should be drawn to grocery products and iron’s assimilability. Iron provided in animal products such as meat, seafood, eggs is absorbed much better (20-40%) than in vegetable products (0-6%). Products with high amount of iron are: millet,  buckwheat, almonds, beef, liver; spices: dried parsley, thyme.