Most athletes are constantly looking for an edge to improve performance, get stronger, sleep better, and recover faster.
With the advances in technology, science, and shared information we have at our disposal a plethora of knowledge on the supplements now available to help us be the best in our chosen sport.
And no we’re not going to talk about Creatine.
We are going to explore six supplements that most are not familiar with but could make huge differences in your performance. And yes they’re legal.
Read on to learn more!
An antioxidant and major flavonoid in some fruits and vegetables. Quercetin is considered to have a “much stronger antioxidative and anticarcinogenic activity than vitamin C, and also inhibits protein kinases, inhibits DNA topoisomerases, and regulates gene expression” (MacRae & Mefferd, 2006).
What this means in layman terms is that it has protective benefits to our health in addition to being anticarcinogenic, pro-heart, and anti-inflammatory.
For sports performance beyond its management of free radicals, quercetin has been shown to benefit endurance exercise capacity (V˙ O2max and endurance exercise performance). Ideally, you consume quercitin in whole foods such as apples, leafy green vegetables, tomatoes, cruciferous vegetables, and spinach.
Lions Mane (Hericium erinaceus).
It’s a mushroom, with “amazing medicinal qualities“. It has purported antibiotic, anticarcinogenic, antidiabetic, anti-inflammatory, antifatigue, antihypertensive, cardioprotective, hepatoprotective (liver protection), nephroprotective (kidney protection) and neuroprotective properties.
In addition, it is believed to improve anxiety, cognitive function, and depression. Need I say more? It’s also super safe to take AND affordable.
Deer Antler Velvet
This one some might be familiar with. It’s also somewhat controversial as the verdict is still out on the effectiveness on sports performance and testosterone levels. However, if you have achy joints I highly recommend trying this.
It’s inexpensive and safe to use and if it’s going to help you’ll see the benefits with the first bottle. In a systematic review of randomized controlled studies published in the New Zealand Medical Journal researchers found that there may be promise in utilizing deer antler to treat osteoarthritis.
I recommend Lurong Living Essential if you want to try it out. (I use it- if you want to try it use promo code Shawna30 for 30% off your order)
Like the stuff that makes gummy bears gummy. “Back in the day” (when we ate the whole animal), humans would get copious amounts of gelatin in our diets from bone broths and soups. Now that we eat mainly breast meat we get very little gelatin and it can affect us in different ways.
Gelatin is used to make collagen which is the main structural protein in skin and connective tissue. Supplementing with gelatin (either by making your own bone broth, buying bone broth, or buying gelatin direct) can make a huge difference in joint health, hair, skin, and nails.
Women who suffer from PCOS or endometriosis may also find supplementing with gelatin can vastly improve symptoms.
Made by Aureabio labs, Fitnox is a pre and post workout supplement containing the extracts of Kaempferia parviflora root, Punica granatum peel and Moringa oleifera.
This one I discovered by accident, but the science behind it is quite interesting. Moringa has a lot of research supporting blood sugar management, but Fitnox is using it to increase nitrite and nitrate levels in the blood. Increasing these levels has a direct correlation with improved endurance and aerobic capacities.
Punica granatum is pomegranate, and science suggests supplementation provides anti-inflammatory and antioxidant benefits.
Kaempferia parviflora root (aka black ginger) is a plant used in traditional medicine to improve sexual function. The science behind this root can get quite “geeky” but suffice to say this plant has demonstrated the ability to affect signaling modulators in cells. Translated for athletes- Kaempferia parviflora improves physical fitness performance and muscular endurance.
Tribulus terrestris extract
In all honesty, I’m surprised that this one is not more widely known and discussed. Several studies have demonstrated this to be an effective supplement in boosting testosterone levels and improving athletic performance. As with any supplement, caution should be taken when considering use.
I’m not going to lie, I tend to be a bit of a supplement junkie. Improving performance, cognition, sleep, and quality of life are constant goals for me. I want to live to well over 100 with as much health and mobility as possible.
I believe that responsible supplementation can benefit myself and my clients IF it’s done responsibly.
However, supplementation will not overcome poor nutrition. Dial in your diet first, then determine what if any supplements you can add to help you live the healthiest, happiest life.
Want some help with your nutrition? Check out my nutrition coaching page!
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MacRae, H. S., & Mefferd, K. M. (2006). Dietary antioxidant supplementation combined with quercetin improves cycling time trial performance. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 16(4), 405-419.