By Sport Nutrition Coach Laura Nava
Healthy diet is a must, not just for our health, but for athletic performance. Consider CrossFit founder Greg Glassman’s nutrition RX:
“Eat meat and veggies, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar.”
It’s a simple, but profound formula. Cut added sugar and processed food out of your diet, add nutrient-dense quality foods, and you will start to understand what food can do for you, and how good you will feel after you stop dumping junk into your system. A healthy diet can supply you with all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants your body needs to thrive and exercise. The foundation of health and performance is real food.
BUT…. adding a few specific supplements for athletes can bring your strength and stamina to the next level. Nutrient supplements are not drugs. They work with your biology by supporting normal enzyme function and biochemical reactions. They give you extra micronutrients you can’t get from food sources alone. They increase your energy, promote muscle recovery, decrease body fat, support weight loss, boost your metabolism, relieve inflammation, and protect bone and joint health.
Collagen – Collagen can relieve joint pain, increase bone mineral density, which can help protect against exercise-related damage to keep your body strong. It can also improve your body composition by increasing lean body mass, building muscle strength and reducing overall fat mass.
Vitamin D – Very important to athletes because it works well with other micronutrients to help keep our bones healthy and strong, as well as our overall health. Although supplementing Vitamin D is great, it is still highly recommended you get those precious sun beams from natural sunlight. Find at least 3 days a week and get some sun… NO sunscreen. That’s right, absorb that sunshine!
Multi -Vitamin– Multi-vitamins will help fill in any gaps in your balanced diet, and supply any missing essential nutrients.
Fish Oil – Omega 3 Fatty-Acid is not only beneficial to your heart health, it keeps your cholesterol at a healthy level and aids in keeping inflammation down and keeping immunity strong. Research showed its anti-inflammatory effects may help stop sports injuries in elite athletes and casual gym-goers alike.
Probiotic – Probiotics are live bacteria that line your digestive tract and support your body’s ability to absorb nutrients and fight infection.
Whey – Whey protein will help maximize your muscle growth and improve your body composition by increasing lean body mass. Taken after a workout, it can be fast and effective for the recovery process. Oh! It can also enhance adaptation to training.
So, you might be asking, “Where can I buy these supplements? How do I know they’re safe?” Good question—the supplement industry has ballooned over the last decade. You wouldn’t want to put crap fuel in your car, and you don’t want to put crap stuff in your body.
Unlike prescriptions we pick up in the pharmacy, supplements are not regulated. They are easy to find in pharmacies, grocery stores, health food stores and online. You will want to buy from a trusted retailer. Supplements should have minimal extra ingredients and no added fillers. Some brands I recommend must be bought with a physician license. But you can look on Amazon or visit their website and find an office near you that sells it to consumers. These are the brands that I recommend;
Standard Process www.standardprocess.com
Nordic Naturals www.nordicnaturals.com
Integrative Therapeutics www.integrativepro.com
Designs for Health www.designsforhealth.com
It is important to take supplements as directed, and they are best paired with a healthy, well-rounded diet to maximize the benefits. If you would like more on how supplements can add to your healthy lifestyle or if you are looking to change to a healthy diet, schedule a session with me by clicking my name, down below.
Before adding anything new, please consult your physician. Some supplements have adverse reactions to prescribed medication. I like to air on the side of caution because it’s always better to be safe than sorry.