Supplements promise to give you an edge by taking your strength, speed, recovery and focus to a higher level. If properly consumed, supplements can improve your performance. However, many of their benefits can be naturally attained through a balanced diet.
Jose Antonio, CEO of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, defines a supplement as "any vitamin, mineral, herb or amino acid that's used to supplement one's diet." Emphasis added: supplements should be used only to complement or enhance your diet. (Hear Jose Antonio discuss the role of foods and supplements in the body's recovery process).
"First and foremost, every athlete should concentrate on eating properly," says Drew Robertson, owner of Evolved Nutrition. Robertson, along with other nutritionists and dietitians, prescribes a wellbalanced diet as the foundation of an athlete's nutritional intake.
Once your diet is set, only then consider supplements. They are a quick and efficient way to take in additional nutrients; and they are especially beneficial when intake is timed around games or training sessions.
Popular supplements include multivitamins, protein, glutamine and beta-alanine. These can help offset nutritional deficiencies or supply nutrients that further enhance your ability to perform and recover.
Before taking any supplement, consult with your parents, coach and doctor. Safe supplement practices will help prepare you for the next step in your athletic career.
Turn a fast food milkshake into a powerful muscle-building smoothie. Add three ingredients to enhance recovery post-workout or game.
GNC Pro Performance L-Glutamine Powder (1 tsp):
A fuel source for your immune system, L-Glutamine aids recovery by reducing soreness.
Natural Brand Certified Organic Flaxseed Oil (1 tbsp):
A great source of healthy fat (e.g., omega-3s), which speeds recovery, reduces muscle inflammation and improves overall health.
EAS 100% Vanilla Whey Protein (1 scoop):
The 23 grams of fast-absorbing whey provide amino acids that rebuild your muscles and speed their recovery—for improved size and strength.
BEFORE: Wendy's Original Chocolate Frosty (medium)
AFTER: Enhanced Power Shake
*The high fat content supplies healthy fats needed for recovery and improved health.
Check out the Nutrition section at BLOG.STACK.com for more information about safe and effective supplements.
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