With the spring season about ready to begin (in particular a lot of our track athletes chomping at the bit to get going), I’ve been asked by a few athletes any supplements in particular they should be taking to help ensure the best season possible?
Before I even discuss supplements, I make sure it is understood about two things: getting plenty of sleep and eating enough calories.
Sleep is going to help your athlete recover as fast as possible. They need to do what they can to ensure plenty of sleep: plan ahead with homework, study in advance, don’t waste time looking at mindless items on the electronics.
Athletes also need to make sure they are matching the caloric expenditure their bodies produce each day. If they are continually in a deficit, then they will lose muscle as your body takes it for energy.
Obviously, if you lose muscle, you will be losing strength, power, speed, basically everything you need to be at the top of your game for your sport. We don’t want that.
I have athletes from different sports utilizing the Whoop Band technology. I created a team for them to join and I can see some of the data on a daily basis. For this conversation, I can see how many calories they are burning during the day.
Calories burnt are affected not just by the activity you are doing, but also by the individuals’ body weight and size. The larger the individual, the more calories they will burn just to meet energy demands. Once we have an idea how many calories you need to consume to match the expenditure, we can start to gameplan.
Supplements can help athletes at least accomplish these two goals. Once the essentials are met, then are there any supplements that can help the athlete perform.
Here are some of the supplements I have suggested to my athletes. Unless indicated, links are provided to purchase them at our Advocare micro-site. In case you were interested:
- I’ve noticed breakfast is tough for some of my athletes to get. In order to get something on the go if they don’t have time (or won’t make time) to sit and eat breakfast would be any of the following items: Meal Replacement Shakes, Ready To Drink Protein Shakes, or a Meal Nutrition Bar.
The first one, you would have to make. That can be as simple as putting it in a shaker bottle with some water or milk. Or you could throw it in a blender if you did have a few minutes to spare. The later two, you can just grab them and go. Simple calories. If you are lucky enough to grab a piece of fruit or a bagel with peanut butter, you have a decent amount of calories there to begin your day.
- After workouts, it is really important to get proper nutrients in. If you can’t get to real food quickly, then these options might help. Understand, after a workout is when your body can really absorb protein, but for females that window isn’t open as long as their male counterparts. Meaning, females want to consume that protein very soon after a workout/game/etc. where males can wait just a little longer if they need to.
Besides some of the options listed above, you can get Post-Workout Recovery or Bodylean25Ⓡ as something you can mix into a shake or just liquid to get the nutrients you need after a workout.
- If we are having problems getting food in, then chances are you need a multi-vitamin to fill in the gaps. With males I suggest this Multi-Vitamin and females, if they need a little more iron, this Multi-Vitamin plus Iron.
- Even if we weren’t in a pandemic, I feel you need to make sure they are getting a little extra in to help keep their immune system strong. I purchased this bottle from Viva Naturals for Immunity Support. It has extra zinc, elderberry, Vitamin D, and Vitamin C in it. Don’t be shocked by the amounts in this bottle. The doctors I’ve researched said this is what you need to get your immune system as strong as it can be.
- Not too long ago, I also wrote a blog post on Quercetin and how it not only can help your immune system, but provide energy for sprinting/running. You can get this bottle of Quercetin and Zinc combined to provide you with what your body needs.
- Creatine has been shown to increase power in sprint performances while also improving strength. This is valuable for sprinters and other sports where sprinting is involved. I’ve used Mass Impact with a couple of my athletes and both of them happened to get to the state meet in their respective sports (track and swimming).
- These last two I have not taken. I will be taking them myself within the week, but I mentioned sleep and how it helps with recovery. This first product is Nighttime Recovery and obviously it is supposed to help the athlete recover quicker during the night. The next product is SleepWorks and it is supposed to help you get to sleep faster and feel more refreshed when you awake.
I will keep you posted on what I think about these two products.
Obviously, these are my suggestions. I’m not forcing you to take these products by any means. But, I have seen these products taken with my athletes to varying degrees of success. If you can’t get what you need naturally, I do feel these will help.