Go the extra mile. Whether you use this phrase as motivation or you take it literally, you push your body to peak performance. As an athlete, it’s necessary! And a healthy lifestyle is often enough fuel to help you reach your goals. But what if we told you there’s more you can do for that extra push toward the finish line?
Nutrition for athletes is different from nutrition for the average person. And gaining the normal recommended nutrients might not be enough for your body. You might even find that the caloric deficit of an athlete far surpasses that of the average person. To maintain a nourished athletic body, it takes more food and a vast array of nutrients.
Worried your diet isn’t doing enough for your fitness regimen? Supplements are your fuel! Below is a comprehensive guide to the best supplements for athletes and how they can push you to the end of that extra mile.
Warmed up, stretched, and ready to go — this might sound like all the pre-workout preparation you need! Surprisingly, there’s a way you can get more out of your workouts, and it all starts with the start. Nourishing your body before a tough workout can be the difference you need for an extra rep or an extra 10!
In fact, studies have shown that pre workout supplements can improve athletic performance. Caffeine, amino acids, and electrolytes are common pre workout nutrients for their energy-boosting, muscle-preserving benefits. Whether you’re a distance runner, sprinter, or bodybuilder, you’re looking for the edge over your competition and pre workout supplements are it! They are a simple way to maintain high energy levels and muscle growth.
Benefits of Pre Workout
- Encourages more energy for strong exercise performance*
- Assists in maintaining lean muscle mass*
- Supports healthy connective tissue and muscle function*
- Promotes an easier post-workout recovery*
- Preserves healthy cardiovascular function*
- Maintains high stamina through the toughest workouts*
- Loaded with nutrients crucial to active, hard-working bodies*
Bulk up, speed up, and stay ahead of the competition with pre workout supplements! View them as the foundation for your fitness regimen, establishing a strong base of amino acids and electrolytes to keep your body nourished and ready for anything. Check out the best pre workout supplements for every fitness need!
- For muscle maintenance: Klean Athlete BCAA + Peak ATP is the ideal pre workout powder for athletes looking to strengthen their muscles and protect against aches and soreness. This potent powder contains branched-chain amino acids that assist muscle protein synthesis and ATP for a powerful energy boost.
- For higher energy: Vega Sport Energizer drink is one of the best natural energy supplements as it combines vitamins, minerals, carbohydrates, and caffeinated ingredients so you can stay ahead of exhaustion. Plus, this energizing powder enhances mental alertness for quick reflexes.
You work yourself to the bone, and you definitely feel the results. But does that mean you have to suffer through soreness? No! Post workout recovery is another key portion of healthy nutrition for athletes. From replenishing electrolytes to calming the mind and body after intense work, the importance of recovery after exercise is substantial!
No matter your line of fitness specialty — cardio or bodybuilding — it’s easy to feel the negative effects of overtraining and under recovering. Plus, our glycogen stores become depleted during tough workouts, leading to fatigue and soreness. Fortunately, a 2015 study shows that we can replenish our muscle glycogen stores with recovery and nutrition! So, add a rest day into your regimen and be sure to eat nourishing foods and take post workout supplements for a faster recovery.
Importance of Recovery
- Encourages quicker healing from minor injuries caused by exercise*
- Stimulates healthy cardiovascular and circulatory function*
- Promotes balance across the mind and body*
- Relieves muscle aches and joint stiffness*
- Supports deeper, more restful sleep*
- Preserves healthy muscle tissue and function*
- Helps calm an anxious mind*
You finished your workout, that’s the hard part! Follow up intense activities with the right rest and nutrition to solidify the hard work you’ve completed — and to avoid the inevitable fatigue and soreness. Check out these best post workout recovery supplements:
- For a calm mind and body: Natural Factors Stress Relax Pharma GABA helps ease your mind into a state of relaxation after bouts of exercise. While you might feel exhausted after physical exertion, you may not be getting the rest your body needs. This stress relief supplement assists a healthy stress response so you can recover effectively.
- For electrolyte replenishment: Hammer Nutrition HEED Sports Drink consists of a full profile of electrolytes that combat exercise-induced fatigue. We lose a variety of nutrients through sweat, but HEED replenishes the essential nutrients for stronger exercise performance.
How to Maintain Muscle Mass
For many athletes, muscle mass is the proof of their hard work. And maintaining it might seem just as difficult as building it! Fortunately, with nutrition for athletes, it’s not. In addition to weightlifting and resistance workouts, the best way to stay ahead of degenerating muscles is to enjoy a diet rich in diverse nutrients.
Similar to pre and post workout supplements, there are a variety of nutrients that support muscle growth and protein synthesis. While labor-intensive workouts build your muscles, a powerful way to preserve them is with the help of the best muscle building supplements!
Best Muscle Building Supplements
Creatine Powders: Creatine is a naturally occurring compound found in muscle cells. It’s one of the most utilized nutrients in exercise performance due to its muscle-strengthening and energy-boosting effects! Bodybuilders and sprint runners alike benefit from creatine as it is great for quick bouts of energy plus short- and long-term muscle gain.
- Klean Athlete Klean Creatine: This potent powder delivers a host of benefits straight to your muscles. Not only will you more easily maintain muscle integrity, you’ll also experience a boost in energy exactly when you need it during tough workouts.
Protein Powders: Without enough protein, building muscle is nearly impossible. In fact, you need to obtain more protein than your body breaks down in order to gain muscle. Protein powders are a great way to achieve higher levels of protein intake, and whey protein is one of the richest sources. In addition to maintaining strong muscle mass, whey protein is a powerful fitness supplement that protects against tissue loss and promotes satiation!
- Klean Athlete Isolate Protein: This protein-rich formula combines protein isolate with amino acids and branched-chain amino acids to strengthen muscle fibers and protect against muscle degeneration.
How to Increase Blood Flow for Better Exercise Performance
Muscles are typically the focus of a well-regimented fitness routine but athletes often forget about the most important muscle of them all — the heart! Our cardiovascular system is at the center of a healthy lifestyle, and healthy blood flow is key to better exercise performance.
Our blood delivers oxygen and nutrients to all areas of the body. This serves as our body’s fuel and keeps us energized and moving. When it comes to heart health and exercise, they both benefit the other. This means that more exercise improves heart health and a healthy heart enhances exercise performance!
Being active each day is a great way to increase blood flow and improve cardiovascular health. Additionally, nutrition for athletes consists of heart-healthy choices too. And taking supplements to improve circulation is one of the most effective ways to keep your heart in shape!
Looking for the best supplements for circulation? Omega-3 fatty acids and CoQ10 are at the top of our list! Check out these high quality supplements:
- Omega-3 fatty acids: Terry Naturally Vectomega contains omega-3s to promote healthy cholesterol levels and protect against buildup in our arteries.
- CoQ10: Pure Encapsulations SR-CoQ10 with PQQ contains this powerful antioxidant to boost cellular energy and keep harmful toxins out of our blood.
Relieve Joint Pain and Discomfort
An active lifestyle without aches and pains? That’s a pipe dream! …Or is it? While intense activity is a common cause for muscle aches and joint stiffness, that doesn’t mean we have to suffer through it. Rather, nutrition for athletes also covers the nutrients we need to alleviate discomfort caused by physical overuse and aging.
From exercise-induced injuries to daily wear and tear, our bodies endure a lot of pain. And body weight alone is enough to leave us feeling achy and sore. Fortunately, there are a variety of nutrients to help us stay ahead of joint pain and discomfort. Let’s take a look at a few of the most effective natural pain relief supplements.
Collagen: Our bodies naturally produce collagen, which makes up part of the structure between our joints. But production slowly declines with age, and less collagen means less connective tissue to protect each joint. This can result in joints rubbing against each other and painful inflammation. Supplementing with collagen helps the body maintain healthy collagen levels for strong connective tissue and natural joint pain relief!
- Klean Athlete Collagen + C: This post workout collagen drink nourishes your tissues, joints, and bones with bovine collagen and an added dose of vitamin C.
Curcumin: Curcumin is among the very best supplements for athletes! Why? Well, this potent anti-inflammatory compound is an effective method for natural joint pain relief. It works by targeting the source of inflammation and assisting the body’s natural pain response. That way, you’re not just masking the pain — you’re rooting it out.
- Terry Naturally CuraMed 750 mg: This combination of curcumin and turmeric oil boosts your antioxidant capacity, stress response, energy levels, mobility, and more!
No pain, no gain? Not a chance!
Instead, focus your efforts on your gains and avoid the pain by nourishing your body with a healthy diet, lifestyle, and all the right supplements. From pre- and post-workout supplements to muscle maintenance and healthy blood flow, nutrition for athletes is a wide topic that reaches far beyond strong muscles. Get ahead of your competition by adding the best supplements for athletes to your daily fitness routine!
For more high quality supplements, check out your favorite health food store’s website!