Supplements for Athletic Performance

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Supplements for Athletic Performance |Real Food RN

My husband decided to write another post for me. Thanks, dear! He is an avid gym-goer (as you may have read in his Green Drink post) and he does take some well-researched supplements to help aid in his performance at the gym, as well as his recovery from the workouts. This week he details the supplements that he takes and why he takes them. 

 Take it away Luke….

Before I outline the various supplements I incorporate into my diet I need to give a disclaimer: no supplement will replace real food.  Supplements are just that: supplements. The focal point of any diet is a wholesome, nutritious real food diet.

Fermented Cod Liver Oil: There’s a ton of research out there that suggests fish oils are crucial for cancer prevention, cardiovascular, mental health and various other ailments. The biggest benefit to fermented fish oil is that it’s cold processed, which preserves the natural-health giving Vitamins (A, D, & K2) and Omega-3. Fermented Cod Liver Oil also combats the inflammatory response that occurs after a hard workout.

Glucosamine, Chondroitin and MSMEssential for joint health! In my house I get good amounts of bone broth, which is a natural cartilage builder, but Glucosamine and Chondroitin (sulfate) are normal components of cartilage supplements and are a great way to keep your joints feeling young and healthy. For me personally I will notice sore knees and shoulders within a week if I stop taking it. MSM helps combat inflammation in the joint and also has many more beneficial properties.

CoQ10Found in every cell of the body, this supplement is vital for energy production. It keeps those mitochondria in good working order.

CoQ10 is an important part of the inner membranes of the mitochondria where the actual production of ATP occurs. Here electrons negatively charged particles in atoms) are passed around in what is known as the electron transport chain. CoQ10′s job is to collect and transfer these electrons along the chain, which helps power the production of ATP. (source)

It’s also very important for optimum heart functioning. Statin drugs deplete CoQ10, which explains why many people who take statins often complain of muscle pain. The problem is that’s extremely difficult to get therapeutic ranges in food alone (mackerel, salmon, organ meats like heart).

TMG (Trimethylglycine): An organic compound that occurs in plants. It protects the cardiovascular system by neutralizing homocysteine and delivering valuable nutritional support for healthy liver function. Homocysteine is a byproduct of endurance training (source) and elevated levels can cause damage in the following ways:

  • Speeds Up Oxidation and Aging
  • Causes Damage to Your Arteries
  • Causes Your Immune System to Weaken
  • Increases Pain and Inflammation

Food-Based Multivitamin: Studies have shown that food-based vitamins are better assimilated and digested easier. Synthetic vitamins and minerals just don’t cut it because they are created in a lab….with chemicals. Food-based multivitamins are a no-brainer. I take one as an added insurance to make sure I cover all my basic vitamin and mineral needs.

Whole food vitamin supplements are derived from whole foods which contain the most complete sources of nutrients for your body. They contain all the necessary vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, enzymes, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, fiber and other micronutrients that you need for proper nourishment. They are easy to absorb because they contain all the nutrients needed for assimilation and utilization by your body. Over 25,000 unique micronutrients known as cofactors have been discovered in whole fruits and vegetables alone. These micronutrients provide additional nutritional support and they also enhance the effectiveness and absorption of other nutrients contained in whole foods.

Isolates on the other hand, are extracted nutrients made in a lab that are void of the enzymes, cofactors and other micronutrients needed for the proper absorption and utilization by your body, because they lack the cofactors and micronutrients needed and are not recognized by our bodies as food. In fact, taking isolated forms of vitamin supplements can even create additional deficiencies, as your body has to use its own nutritional reserves to try and process the isolated nutrients, so they can be utilized properly by the body. What can’t be processed is eliminated or stored by your body. Eliminated nutrients from isolated vitamin supplements are wasted and stored nutrients from isolates can create health issues over time. (source)

Chromium: A mineral your body needs to help control blood sugar. I take one before every meal.

Deer Antler Velvet: This supplement has been all over the news lately (thanks Ray Lewis, Baltimore Ravens). It claims to be effective in healing some cartilage and even hormonal support.  I’ve noticed my knees to be less sore and also slightly less muscle recovery time.

PhosphatidylserinePhosphatidylserine is a type of fat molecule found in the cell membranes that surround and protect all the cells in your body. It is involved in many biological processes in the body. Many new studies are emerging right now and it’s quickly becoming a wonder supplement in the weight-lifting community. It’s many benefits include:

  • strengthen your memory,
  • increase vigilance and attention,
  • boost learning,
  • increase mental acuity,
  • intensify your concentration,
  • relieve depression and improve mood,
  • inhibit exercise and stress induced increases in cortisol,
  • decrease stress—whether you are young or old.

Phosphatidylserine supplements may help boost exercise capacity and improve athletic performance, according to a 2006 report published in Sports Medicine. In their analysis of the available research on use of phosphatidylserine supplements among exercising humans, the report’s authors also found that phosphatidylserine may help decrease muscle soreness and protect against the increase in levels of cortisol (a stress hormone) that often occurs as a result of overtraining. (source)

I have been strength training since I was in highschool football (Go Chargers!) and my supplement regimen has always been en ever-evolving self experimentation. This current list of supplements has been my longest on-going list to date. It is subject to change, however, as new studies emerge. But I will be sure to edit and update this post if that ever happens.

We tyically buy our vitamins and supplements HERE because the prices are amazing, the shipping is free, and many times we get a BOGO. Plus they carry most of our favorite brands too! You can also find our favorite supplements HERE. Use coupon code: REAL FOOD to save 10% off your order too!

NOTE: This is not intended to be taken as medical advice or as a prescription to anyone. This is my personal list of supplements and the reasons why I take them. I hope you find this list useful and benefit from it in your active lifestyle.

Sources:Homocysteine MetabolismHomocysteine: One of the Best Objective Markers of How Healthy You Are, 10 Things You Can Do Today to Feel Better Tomorrow,Phosphatidylserine: A “Must Have” Bodybuilding Supplement,What can Phosphatidylserine (PS) do for Me?

Learn More About Kate, Founder of Real Food RN

Hi! I'm Kate.

Registered Nurse. Mom. Real Foodie.

Welcome to Real Food RN! A blog with the mission to empower you to live your healthiest life possible, starting today.



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