What Serious Athletes Should Know About Supplementation
As a former NCAA Football All-American and now an Athletic Trainer I’ve found that nutrition is the foundation for athletes to build upon. Although I was gifted was above average athleticism and a passion for sports I really had no clue about the significant role nutrition had in my athletic development and performance. I would go to stores like GNC and get supplements like creatine, NO2 and protein because I thought those were the best options for me to get bigger and stronger. It really was not until grad school when I majored in Sports Management and studied sports nutrition did I gain a greater understanding about nutrition and the crucial role it plays in athletic development and performance.
I know athletes want to train harder, get faster, get bigger and gain strength but many athletes take the wrong road to get there usually because of a lack of knowledge. That wrong road and lack of knowledge can lead to negative long term effects. Americans spend more than $20 billion each year on dietary supplements, many of them questionable products.
There is a ton of information we could cover about sports nutrition, safe supplements and banned supplements whoever in this article let’s stick to the basics.
Why do I need a supplement? The American Medical Association recommends that all adults take one multivitamin daily. This is true even if you already eat a diet rich in fresh, whole, natural foods, because the foods you consume often don’t supply all the vitamins and minerals you need, at the recommended levels.
What are Phytonutrients? Phytonutrients are naturally occurring chemicals in plants that help fight off insects, resist disease, promote healthy growth, and enhance survival. Many scientists and researchers believe you should be getting Phytonutrients from all five color categories: white, yellow and orange, red, blue and purple and green. Eating a wide range of whole foods from each color category provides brought antioxidant protection and many health benefits. Taking a safe and effective plant-based supplement can help you fill in the gaps between the fruits and vegetables you actually eat and what your body really needs.
Why are antioxidants important? Antioxidants are your natural defenses against free radicals. Free radicals oxidize compounds in your cells starting a chain reaction of instability and damage. The antioxidants in a safe and effective plant-based supplement can help neutralize free radicals in five categories and offer protection – right down to your cells!
You know what any Athlete’s Worst Nightmare is?
To Train so hard and Give so much Time Preparing to be Be the Best at your Sport all to be Kicked Off the Team for Violating the Substance Abuse Policy! This is why it’s so important for athletes, parents and coaches advocate themselves about how to recognize safe and effective supplements. Look for the NSF Certified for Support Certification. The MSF Certified for Sport Certification is the highest certification in sports nutrition and only a few products and brands carry this high seal of approval. NSF International is an independent, not-for-profit organization that helps protect consumers by certifying products and writing standards for dietary supplements, food, water, air, and consumer goods.
I’ve been consistently using a brand called Nutrilite since my college football days and when I was preparing for my NFL Pro Day in 2010. I have energy, my recovery times are shorter and my immune system is stronger so I don’t get sick. My endurance is strong and when I take my supplements I feel good because I know it’s the best thing personally for me. The NUTRILITE® brand has received the NSF Sports Certification which is the leading product safety and banned substances testing body for elite athletes. NUTRILITE Daily Multivitamin, Concentrated Fruits and Vegetables, and DOUBLE X® Vitamin/Mineral/Phytonutrient, the brand’s three most popular supplements in this market, will carry the certification.
Remember when it comes to your health and performance don’t just play the game but get educated and learn how the game is played.
Domonique Hargrove M.S., B.A. Founder of “Slight Edge Performance Program”
Visit my Diet and Nutrition personal website at www.SlightEdgePerformance.net