Healthy Bones Action Week (HBAW) is a yearly initiative taking place every August with the aim to raise awareness on the importance of building and maintaining strong bones across the lifespan, encouraging great nutritional and lifestyle habits that assist in reducing the risk of low bone mineral density (osteopenia) and osteoporosis.
The VIS Nutrition team work with our athletes to educate and support them in fuelling their bodies so they can perform at the highest level. Recognising HBAW is essential for athletes as they require strong bones to help reduce the risk of bone stress injuries that can occur both acutely and or chronically during training or competition.
Specific nutritional requirements, such as increasing calcium intake is important during adolescence (12 – 18 years of age) to support the development of peak bone mineral density (NRV, 2023).
For all athletes, adequate calcium, Vitamin D, total energy (kilojoules/calories), and protein also play a particularly critical role in the prevention of bone stress injuries.
The VIS also recognises the impact and risk factors of poor bone health across the Australian community. Osteoporosis Australia estimated 6.2 million Australian’s aged over 50 to have osteopenia or osteoporosis in 2022, an increase of 31% from 2012 (RACGP, 2023).
This week, the VIS Nutrition team will raise awareness about HBAW with a Milk Bar in the VIS athlete kitchen. Dairy and calcium fortified plant – based alternative milk’s, yoghurt’s, smoothies as well as calcium enriched tuna snacks, which are outstanding performance nutrition recovery and nutritious everyday snack choices, will be on offer for VIS athletes from our accredited Sports Dietitian’s across the week.
Supporting your own bone health
The VIS nutrition team has supplied their top recommendations for maintaining good bone health for everyday life.
- Enjoy a fruit smoothie or milky coffee.
- Recover after exercise with a glass of milk, flavoured milk or tub of yoghurt.
- Calcium enriched plant-based milk alternatives are plentiful, ensure they have at least 120mg / 100ml of calcium and some protein.
- Try to exercise or move your body daily, incorporating strength-based training into your routine.
- Enjoy dairy foods and or calcium rich and fortified alternatives in your meals and snacks every day.
- Adolescents between 12 – 18 years of age need 3.5 serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and or calcium fortified alternatives every day.
- Adults between 19 – 50 years of age need 2.5 serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese or calcium fortified alternatives every day.
- Women above 51 years of age and men above 70 years of age need 3.5 serves of milk, yoghurt, cheese and or calcium fortified alternatives every day.
Find recommended serving suggestions and additional calcium rich foods here.
Image sourced: Dairy.com.au