You don’t want to always leave it up to your kid to find out what’s the best protein powder for young athletes. Coaches, parents, and guardians need to be clued in on the details of supplements and nutrition, including the best vitamins for teen athletes, healthy snacks for teen athletes, and more. After all, it’s an industry that’s constantly evolving and revolutionizing how athletes of all ages see themselves - and their athletic potential.
And some supplements may even do more harm than good.
So, before your young superstar makes the highlight reels and their touchdown circulates through your social media groups, it’s time to take a step back and look at how they’re fueling their on and off-field activities.
We have more available science and research than ever to support buying decisions when it comes to the best protein powder for young athletes. Resources you can turn to when your teen is experiencing the biggest growth spurt of their lives - and starting their athletic career. There’s a reason why so many sporting records keep getting broken these days, and we believe it has something to do with the available knowledge of good nutrition and good training programs.
We can answer parents’ common questions like:
- Do sports nutrition supplements work?
- How do I plan effective nutrition for high school football players?
- What is the best protein powder for young athletes?
We’ll get to these and more. But first, an introduction to the best protein supplement for athletes: hydrolyzed collagen.
An introduction to hydrolyzed collagen supplements
If you’ve been immersing yourself in the world of sport nutrition, it’s very likely that you’ve heard of collagen by now. Perhaps you’ve done some digging on the subject, or perhaps it's just one of those words that’s familiar in your chat groups, sideline conversations, and car runs. Collagen protein may even be included in your child’s high school football nutrition plan by their coach.
But maybe the word hasn’t really separated itself from the matrix of other nutritional buzzwords floating around - like “the best protein powder for young athletes”.
Let’s zoom in on the science behind collagen.
Collagen is one of the most abundant proteins in your and your child’s body. It’s the robust support of bones, the gluey flex in ligaments, and the bounce in growing muscles. Everything from the youthful glow in skin to the quick ability of tendons to recover after an injury can be credited to a healthy supply of collagen in the body.
You need it, inside and out, and your body is producing it all the time.
So, are you ready for the reasons why collagen is the best protein powder for young athletes? Because we’ve got seven…
1. It’s a protein source their body naturally makes
As we mentioned, your body naturally produces collagen (though this natural production does slow down around age 26).
But your rising sports star can’t rely on this natural production alone.
A growing body is constantly calling on its stores of collagen to build muscle mass and fuel bone growth (just recall how your teen has shot up in height seemingly overnight).
And a growing body that’s also a very active one - like a junior high or high school athlete - demands that much more collagen to build muscle, repair tissues, and support joints and bones from stress.
While foods and other supplements may help fulfill your child’s protein intake, hydrolyzed collagen specifically is the best protein powder for young athletes. It’s a protein source that their bodies naturally produce, making it very bioavailable and gentle on digestive systems. And it’s in an easier-to-digest hydrolyzed form, meaning that the molecules are easily absorbed by the stomach lining. Finally, it’s a protein that’s in high demand within your teen’s body.
As a parent, you want to know that their bodies have all the protein supplies they need to make it through whatever football conditioning program was designed for them for that day. And that those supplies are actually being digested and used by the body.
2. It may improve injury resistance
Let’s address one of the biggest reasons why collagen is on the minds of parents and coaches: injury resistance.
We do everything we can to protect our children. Sometimes we’re guilty of doing too much. At one point or another, we’ve all thought it would be much easier if we could wrap our kids in protective bubble wrap to stop the world from getting to them.
But that’s a near impossible endeavor when your child is on the playing field, adrenaline is running high, and the game is on the line.
Your young athlete is going to bring their all to make that play, and that comes with added stress on their body. The risk of sports-related injury is always present, and for young athletes, it’s typically involving a new injury, as opposed to a pre-existing one.
Collagen is one of the best protein powders for young athletes because it keeps muscles, bones, and ligaments strong. But we’re not just talking about any type of strength.
Your young athlete’s body requires tensile strength - bending and flexing without tearing or breaking.
Greater tensile strength, coupled with a healthy stretching and strength training routine, may help decrease the chances of twisting and impact-related injuries such as sprained ankles, torn ACLs and MCLs, and more.
3. It may result in up to a 2x faster recovery time
Injuries do happen. But they shouldn't slow down or end your teen’s athletic career before it begins.
As a general rule, the younger someone is, the faster their body can react and rebuild when needed. Children and teens’ bodies are more elastic. And much of that elasticity is due to and supported by collagen protein.
If an injury does happen, a large part of injury recovery is giving your body ample time to produce and use collagen and other proteins to rebuild damaged skin, ligaments, or tendons.
The amazing ability of collagen to repair and rebuild a body after injury is one of the primary reasons we created the Frog Fuel liquid collagen and our ProT Gold powder collagen products. We spent endless hours testing our formulas, both in the lab and in real athletes, quantifying their post-workout recovery times and injury recovery times.
In fact, Frog Fuel is more than just a supplement, it’s an FDA-registered medical health food. And it’s trusted in over 300 hospitals and medical facilities for its proven ability to reduce recovery times.
This information is power.
Letting your teen know that they’re giving their body the best protein powder for young athletes can both psychologically and physically encourage a faster recovery time.
4. It doesn’t require any messy mixing
While we’re talking about Frog Fuel, it’s worth noting that the best protein powder for young athletes isn’t a powder at all. It’s liquid collagen.
Here’s why: our single serving-sized packets are simple and easy to use. Designed specifically for maximum absorption, on-the-go lifestyles, and athletes that want to be able to throw their supplements in a gym bag.
No messy mixing on the sidelines.
No waiting line to share the water fountain.
No smelly mixing bottles found at the bottom of a duffel or under a hot car seat.
Just open and go.
Efficient and ready, just like your athlete. It’s one less thing to think about when they’re focused on the next big game.
5. It may promote better sleep
The best protein powder for young athletes will come with a myriad of benefits. And liquid collagen protein is no exception.
Taking a collagen supplement has been linked with clearer skin, faster recovery times, more tensile strength in muscles, ligaments, and tendons, increased lean muscle mass, improved weight management, elevated moods, and even better sleep.
The glycine content in collagen has been shown to cool the body down by deconcentrating circulation. A cooler, more regulated body temperature means a more comfortable, deeper sleep. During non-REM deep sleep, your blood pressure drops and your breathing becomes deeper and slower, while blood flow and oxygen levels in your muscles increase. This surge of nutrients promotes muscle and tissue healing and growth. And the longer your body is allowed to stay in this state, the more healing that can occur.
You’ve probably already seen by now the power a good night’s sleep has on a growing teenager. A restful night’s sleep is also vital for any athlete, promoting full-body recovery before and after long training sessions or big games.
6. It is easy for young bodies to absorb quickly
When looking for the best protein powder for young athletes, one of the questions that should stay top of mind is how much of any given powder is actually used by the body.
Collagen protein and other common protein sources, like whey and pea, all naturally exist as large protein molecules. This is a problem, because the holes in our stomach lining are quite small, making them too big to be absorbed into the bloodstream. Like unused vitamins, they’ll just pass through our digestive tracts as waste.
But this large molecule size is also a big reason why many protein supplements can cause an upset stomach. The stomach is trying to digest it, but it can’t.
Unlike other protein supplements, hydrolyzed collagen protein undergoes an extra step to prevent both a queasy stomach and wasted dollars spent on protein powder that your teen’s body won’t use.
Scientists break down naturally large molecules via hydrolyzation, a process that uses enzymes to break individual molecules into a fraction of the size. At Frog Fuel, we repeat this process multiple times to create a liquid collagen protein that is nano-hydrolyzed with a high protein absorption rate. The result is collagen protein in its most digestible form.
For young athletes, that means that 100% of the hydrolyzed collagen they consume is used by their body.
Another reason it’s the best protein powder for young athletes (even though it’s not a powder) is that being in a readily-absorbed form means the digestion process is a fast one. The collagen in Frog Fuel can be effectively absorbed by the body in just 15 minutes, making it a great solution for before, during, and after workouts.
For any athlete that has two-a-day workouts in their future, this is a must-have!
7. It’s safe to consume daily - or more
Since we’re on the topic of multiple workouts a day, it’s important to address the safety of daily collagen protein supplements.
Like any of the sports nutrition supplements on the market, it’s important to read labels and understand exactly what your athlete is taking.
We’ve already mentioned that collagen is a naturally-occurring protein in every body - whether or not a collagen product is a part of daily supplementation. Not only is it natural but, when taken as a supplement in a high-quality, pure form, it’s completely safe for people of all ages.
We’re talking about giving the body more of what it’s making and using already.
With collagen, the system isn’t changing, we’re giving the body more of what it wants to work with. Any excess collagen protein consumed will be effectively stored, repurposed, or safely expelled from the body.
At Frog Fuel, we operate on complete transparency. Our nutrition labels are short and easy to read, containing only natural and/or the highest quality ingredients that have been tested and proven to benefit athletic performance and recovery.
Always pair the best protein powder for young athletes with a healthy diet
Remember that giving your teen the best vitamins for teen athletes, healthy snacks for teen athletes, and best protein powder for young athletes is still only part of the equation.
No supplements should be a replacement for a healthy, balanced diet.
Your teen should be eating plenty of healthy fats, complex carbs, fresh fruits, and fresh vegetables at regular intervals throughout the day. In fact, the different vitamins and nutrients in these foods can aid the absorption of their other supplements.
For example, collagen is catalyzed by vitamin C. That means that plenty of vitamin C (either via foods or supplements) will help make sure any collagen consumed will be as effective as possible.
If you need extra help planning out the nutritional needs of a young athlete, you can ask their coach, doctor, or a licensed nutritionist to help put a plan together based on the sport they play, their activity level, and their current body composition.
Frog Fuel liquid collagen protein, a well-rounded meal plan, and a strategic workout plan designed by a skilled coach might just be the preparation trifecta your athlete needs to start their next winning streak.