nutrition bite 013: Why Social Media Doesn’t Hold the Answers for Young Athletes & Adolescents When It Comes to their Nutrition…


A question we ask all too commonly is “what is the secret to life”… it’s something we all want to discover, and I fear that the place we’re looking for this answer is on social media – the last place we will find it… and the same holds true when it comes to your nutrition and understanding the principles you need to adopt

Don’t get me wrong, I think social media is great, as we live in the #connectioneconomy

But what I question is, in a world where it’s so easy to connect, why do we all feel so lonely… Why do we all feel so inadequate and like what we have and have achieved isn’t “good enough”? Alas, I think that’s better left for a separate mindset article…

Personally, I spent 4 years at University (and about 6 years doing my own self-conducted learning) to begin understanding nutrition – and the more I discover, the more I realise I know nothing… I feel I have a better grasp on it than others, and yet there are people on social sharing harmful information

Today I want to touch on social media when it comes to nutrition, how it’s the first place people go for their information, and how this is harmful to the next generations…

Everyone eats, and therefore everyone thinks they know about nutrition…

Social media is filled with pseudo-experts who want to “become the next big celebrity/thing”… it’s so easy to read something, believe it to be true, and then share your newfound information with the world

Someone then sees it, reads it, and takes it to be gospel, even though you got it from

It’s the blind leading the blind…

On a whole – the arena of nutrition is incredibly complex… there’s a myriad of underlying area’s at play here depending on your current situation, genetics, goals, and a host of other things

But on the same hand – nutrition is incredibly simple – especially with this demographic

1) Get your five serves of veg a day

2) Have a source of protein everytime you eat

3) Love your carbohydrates and eat them in accordance to your activity levels and goals

4) Drink your water, aiming for at least 2L/day

5) Make the best choice you can at the available time

That’s what we find to work incredibly well with our young athletes and adolescents… if they can focus on these basics and creating a solid foundation, then everything else can be built on top of this

Plus, it’s hard to convey and understand context from social media – as we gauge the “authority” of someone by how many followers they have

It’s a psychological shortcut we use… if someone has more followers than someone else then surely they must know more and be more correct, yes?

It sounds plausible, yet it’s severely flawed…

Many “social media gurus” will have you believe there’s such a thing as “good and bad foods” – which causes a warped perception of nutrition and what food truly is

They’ll try and argue that the only true thing that matters is the “energy in and energy out” equation – which is only a small scratch on the surface of nutrition, not the be all and end all

But on the other hand, the good news is that social media makes it easy to stay connected with the nutritional guru’s of the world today and stay up to date with the phenomenal information that is going to benefit you

Who is this? Here is our #Top5 list and where to follow them:

  • Alan Aragon: @thealanaragon – one of the best people in the world of sports nutrition

  • Trevor Kashey: @relentlessdietetics & @relentlesseats – a phenomenal man with an even better understanding of the science behind nutrition

  • Precision Nutrition & Dr John Berardi: @precisionnutrition

  • Zach Even-Esh: @zevenesh – a world class strength coach with a phenomenal and basic nutrition approach

  • Thinking Nutrition: Dr Tim Crowe has more than a decade of experience and knowledge behind him and he does a phenomenal job of sharing evidence based nutrition messages in plain language

  • Sports Dietitians Australia: @sportsdietaust

  • The Youth Academy: @theyouthacademy ;)

So please, just know that social media doesn’t hold the answer you’re searching for, and it can be a place that will be more harmful than useful for you when it comes to nutrition

Nick Maier