Rangers take on Queen of the South this weekend, looking to take their winning run into double figures.
Zelalem, Aird and Oduwa are three of the brightest prospects in the Gers squad, but their international commitments have forced upon them a demanding schedule.
The trio were off representing the United States, Canada and England respectively in the past week and Warburton is wary that by playing them on Saturday, he could be asking too much of them.
"It's tough for the guys on the international breaks, Gedion, Fraser Aird and Nathan Oduwa," he said.
“They are fit and well, but when you go away for ten days and training and playing two or three games and travelling Trans-Atlantic - Fraser arrived back at 7.30 [on Thursday morning].
“It's tough on young bodies. The international break is tough.
“People say ‘why did you change games?’ But you have to look after these guys”
Warburton has a proven track record of bringing through youngsters, and his desire to protect his players has once again been highlighted by this decision.
Rangers are likely to miss the trio at the weekend, though, as all three have made good starts to the season.
Zelalem and Oduwa have impressed since joining on loan from Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur respectively, while Aird is considered to be one of the best youngsters to have come through the club's youth set-up in recent times.
Rangers have won their opening nine matches in the Scottish Championship this season, and they are currently nine points clear at the top of the table.