Welcome to BJPenn.com’s third installment of “Training Like a Champion: Knowing Your Supplements.” In today’s sporting age there are a million different supplements on the market and it can get very confusing when trying to figure out where to start a healthy and beneficial diet and supplement routine. This column is going to highlight five key supplements that every athlete or health conscience individual should consider when trying to decide what to take to improve athleticism, increase performance, and ensure a healthier lifestyle all around.
Now, before we start I want to be clear that these are only suggestions and these are not the only great supplements on the market, but they are a great place to start when trying to build muscle and improve stamina. Last week we focused on L-Arginine, L-Glutamine, Flax Seed Oil, a Protein Meal Replacement Supplement, and a NO pre-workout supplement. Keeping those in mind, there are several other supplements that may aid an athlete in recovery, stamina, and fluidity of the joints and muscles. Here are my next picks for top supplements to consider when training hard like a champion:
The human body is a well tuned machine. It usually produces everything that the body needs to function to the best of its ability. However, when you begin pressing your body through extreme workouts on a daily basis it is often times necessary to help your body produces more of those things to aid in recovery and future performance. Our first example is highly important in helping your body continue to grow and stay healthy while living an active lifestyle. CoQ10 is an important supplement to consider taking when training for a sport, working out to stay in shape, or when just trying to live a healthier lifestyle. Your body makes CoQ10, and your cells use it to produce energy your body needs for cell growth and maintenance. It also functions as an antioxidant, which protects the body from damage caused by harmful molecules. This is key for athletes because when you push your body to the limit everyday it often times has trouble keeping up with healthy functionality. CoQ10 is a natural substance present in small amounts of a wide variety of foods, but levels are particularly high in organ meats such as heart, liver, and kidney, as well as beef, soy oil, and peanuts. It is said to help heart failure, as well as cancer, muscular dystrophy, and periodontal disease. It is also said to boost energy and speed recovery from exercise. These factors alone should spell out just why CoQ10 is one of the most important supplements to consider when putting together a nutrition and supplement routine. Anything that can aid in recovery and also help in fighting heart disease and cancer should be an easy choice for any health conscience individual. CoQ10 can be extremely beneficial in helping athletes and active individuals reach their full health potential why increasing performance, stamina, and recovery. This supplement will not help you gain 20 pounds in a week, but in the long run could add years to your active life. I highly recommend this supplement for athletes and everyday individuals alike.
Finally, this brings us to one of the newest and most effective pre-workout supplements on the market today: Factor 2 by Force Factor. This is also a nitric oxide powered supplement that relaxes the blood vessels in the body to allow for more nutrients and blood flow to the muscles. Factor 2 uses a key ingredient, L-citrulline, to stimulate your body’s natural NO production. It also uses the dual power of Vitamin C and calcium to allow the creation of NO for a continuous release. What separates this product from many others on the market right now is the fact that it comes in capsule form rather than the messy pre-workout drinks, and it contains no caffeine, which will eliminate that jittery feeling that many pre-workout supplements give the user. This product gives you the intensified workouts and muscle-pumps that you desire from a pre-workout supplement without the over-jittery, amped up feeling. It produces sustained energy and explosive workouts in its purest form. Factor 2 is one of the only supplements on the market that can provide the athletes with that sustained NO production to improve your boy’s strength, power, endurance, and speed. Factor 2 is also promoted and used by 2 time pro-bowler and 49ers tight-end Vernon Davis, one of the games fastest, strongest and most physically diverse players in the NFL today. If you’re mentally motivated Factor 2 will give you then extra boost to work out harder and, in turn, give you the results you’re seeking, whether that be in gaining size and strength, getting lean and faster, or just becoming a better all around athlete in general. Factor 2 by Force Factor is an ideal product for anyone and everyone that is trying to get into better shape, increase their cardiovascular health, and get shredded in the process. This is one of the best pre-workout formulas on the market, not just because of the results but also because of the way it makes you feel during your workouts and throughout the day. I recommend Factor 2 to any athlete that is trying to find that extra something to help push their game to the next level. Factor 2 by Force Factor; the choice has never been more clear.
This is a much different supplement than the one listed above. Super HD is not something that is produced by the body on its own but it’s scientific sports edge is giving gym-goers and high performance individuals the energy and drive to keep them performing at the very peak of their potential, all while helping them lose unwanted fat/weight. Super HD is a great fat-burner made by Cellucor, which is a highly trusted and popular brand in the sports supplement circles. There are certain times that athletes want to bulk up for certain occasions and then there are other times that athletes want to drop down, get lean, or just simply lose unwanted weight. Super HD contains a fat targeting and sculpting agent that helps focus in on the hard to shape areas, such as the gut, love-handles, etc. It also helps with appetite control, a boosted metabolism, and extra energy to help you power through those workouts that you may have cut short in the past. This product is a 1 to 3 times daily capsule that is very effective in helping an athlete or just someone that is trying to get into better shape, break through those plateaus that normally plague many gym-goers. However, due to the unique formula found in Super HD, if you are competing in a sport or competition, you must first contact the governing body of that sport to see if Super HD is a supplement that is approved for use by the commission. For the everyday gym-goer, this is one of the most effective and efficient fat-cutters on the market. Cellucor got another one right with this product.
Everybody has those days where they just don’t feel as motivated during their workouts as they did the week, day, or month before. We’ve all been there, but what we fail to realize is that it’s not just a lack of motivation that is plaguing us during that workout. Rather, this is often times due to a lack of nutrients that stems from a poor diet or failure to properly hydrate. If you do things the right way you should always feel great during and after your workouts. Of course, drinking water is a must. Staying hydrated is half the battle of keeping the body functioning at its top level, but when it comes to keeping your muscles free from post-workout pain, Bioplasma Sport is the go-to, on-the-go solution. This product replenishes the athlete with all the nutrients and minerals necessary to refuel the body and keep it hydrated, not only to feel good for that workout, but to allow that athlete to come back strong and healthy again the next day as well. We have become accustomed to drinking sports drinks to try to keep us hydrated during workouts but Bioplasma Sport goes above and beyond what sports drinks provide the athlete. This product is something I recommend for the top level athlete that is on a daily workout routine and needs help staying hydrated and fueled throughout the entire week. The powder is developed to dissolve instantly on the tongue and enable more rapid absorption. Pouches are light weight, moisture resistant and allow for greater mobility. It’s easy to slip in the gym bag or put in your pocket when you head out for your workout. This is a go-to supplement during and after workouts and is a must for those that struggle to stay hydrated and fueled throughout the week.
A good source of protein is essential for any athlete that is pressing their bodies to the limits on a daily basis. Protein is one of the most important building blocks when trying to replenish and gain muscle mass. However, most protein blends are either soy or whey based and there are a lot of people that would prefer a more natural, cleaner source for their protein source. If you’re looking for something with a cleaner balance of raw a food that also carries the benefits of a good protein shake, this is the product for you. What makes this a great product is that each ingredient in the protein blend is exceptional alone, but when selectively combined in a revolutionary new proprietary formula, Warrior Blend is overwhelmingly superior to any of its single components. The dynamic fusion creates a unique, raw, plant-based protein with a complete amino acid profile, which is also very key in helping build muscle. Warrior Blend is the next generation in raw, plant-based protein. It’s an easily-digestive, nutrient-dense superfood that is perfect for those who want to be ultra-healthy and fit. It’s a complete protein that contains all the essential amino acids, it helps create a feeling of satiety (fullness), it promotes muscle function, its ideal for healthy weight-loss, it’s easy to digest (which is huge in the long run), and it effectively increases the athletes energy level. This is probably one of the smartest choices when choosing a protein blend, mainly because of the raw, plant-based ingredients. Many of the whey protein and even soy protein blends can be hard for the body to digest, their cholesterol levels are usually higher, and there are usually always artificial flavors or ingredients (fillers) to fill out their blends…but not this protein. It’s an amazing choice for any health conscience individual that is looking for the healthiest choice in protein supplementation.
Those are my top 5 must-have workout supplements for any athlete that is trying to take their game to the next level. It’s not always about what you put out in practice; it’s also what you put in your body outside of training. Being a smart athlete starts with a good diet filled with the right nutrients to allow your body to perform to the best of its ability. These five products are not the end of the line in sports nutrition, as there are several products that range in purpose and specificity, but these five products listed above are a great start to any athlete’s success on the field and in life.
Don’t be left in the dust of sports science and nutrition. Train like a champion; know your supplements.