Why do they call it a health craze?

Because the drive to live healthily is crazy powerful. It’s biologically insane to ignore your health.

However, 50% of Americans are vitamin D deficient and 80% are magnesium deficient.

The negative effects of deficiencies include weight gain, lack of energy, and worse.

Nutritional imbalances especially cripple the current and future growth of student athletes.

Without nutritional essentials, ideal strength and stamina are impossible.

Fortunately, this situation is preventable.

Let’s examine four nutrients student-athletes need to reach their best competitive potential.

 

#1 Magnesium

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Magnesium is plentiful in the body, yet 80% of Americans are magnesium deficient.

Magnesium regulates metabolism, stabilizes hormones, and facilitates cardiovascular and neuromuscular functions.

Sweating releases magnesium, so athletes must consume adequate amounts pre-workout.

Low levels impair performance by increasing the oxygen necessary to complete exercise. Deficiencies makes training harder, plus predict muscle spasms, aches, and sleep problems.

Magnesium also detoxifies the body by minimizing damage from environmental chemicals. For example, the antioxidant glutathione requires magnesium for production.

Find magnesium in mangosteen, avocados, and leafy greens.

 

#2 B-Vitamins

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B vitamins complete two different, essential functions in active bodies.

B-complex vitamins like B12 and folate promote protein synthesis, build muscle and repair tissue.

Vitamin B12 is called the “energy vitamin” because you suffer from listlessness and “brain fog” without it.

Thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B6, and biotin are the other group of B-complex vitamins. These ensure energy production.

Short-term deficiencies aren’t serious, but longstanding shortages will impair performance.

Vitamins B12 and folate are available through most animal-source foods.

The remaining essential B-complex vitamins are found in lentils, beans, and strawberries.

 

#3 Antioxidants

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Plants naturally produce antioxidants to protect themselves from the damaging effects of sunlight, drought, soil depletion, and excess rain.

When we eat antioxidant-rich plants, our bodies gain the protections of these powerful phytochemicals to help your body repair faster after exercise. Antioxidants protect our cell walls from oxidative damage caused by free radicals via UV radiation, but also decrease the damages of inflammation incurred during exercise.

Chlorophyll within antioxidant-rich sources also combats inflammation. A naturally alkaline-forming compound, chlorophyll fights against the inflammatory effects of lactic acid and high acid diets.

Yes, plants are painkillers.

This means reducing painful inflammation in joints, ligaments, and tendons. You’ll experience improved flexibility and range of motion from reduced swelling. Lower overall acidity translates into a more efficient training routine with minimal recovery time.

The faster you heal, the faster you gain muscle to achieve peak levels of performance. Good nutrition leads to good recovery.  

Plus, you’ll stave off inflammatory diseases like cancer.

Dietary Sources of Antioxidants

Brightly colored berries and green leafy vegetables are best sources of antioxidants. Cilantro, kidney beans, and artichokes hearts are quality choices too.

Blueberries and Goji berries rank the highest in essential antioxidants.

#4 Protein

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Protein is essential for muscle growth, weight loss, and hormone production.

Animal protein is great, but carries dietary acidity that inhibits healing and is inconvenient to a fast-paced life.

Whey protein is the answer.

A natural byproduct of cheese, whey contains 20% milk protein.

It delivers amino acids, lactose, minerals and vitamins, plus healthy fats to increase satiety.

Whey enhances glutathione levels, meaning it contributes necessary amino acids for muscle growth – plus antioxidants to reduce bodily stress. Glutathione also maintains blood iron levels for improved physical output.

Among proteins, whey protein enhances performance.

 

Healthy Sense

The top priority for student athletes looking to building and maintain healthy body mass for competition is balanced nutrition.

Today’s nutrients are all required for energy production, muscle growth, and bodily repair. To play your best, give your body what it needs. That’s common sense sports nutrition.