by Zach Hackerson,
Next Level Performance Coach
That’s a great question. We all know our kids don’t always make the best nutrition choices, but we also know as athletes, they are putting incredible demands on their bodies and you want to ensure they are properly fueling their bodies.
Unfortunately, the supplement industry can be a mine of misinformation and sometimes dangerous products. And, if they take the wrong thing, they can find themselves on the wrong side of a drug test!
As a coach, there are three supplements that I generally recommend to athletes for both health and performance. For an athlete, the most important one is creatine. Creatine Monohydrate is the most studied supplement on the market, with decades of research behind its effectiveness. It not only improves power output, and increases muscular size and hydration, it has cognitive benefits as well.
The next most important supplement for athletes is protein. Protein is the building block of muscle, and supplementing with protein promotes health, muscular growth and retention. Protein supplements make a healthy, post-workout snack – especially when delivered to the body in liquid form (like a healthy smoothie).
Finally, the last supplement I generally recommend for athletes is BCAA, or Branched-Chain Amino Acid. BCAAs help to decrease muscle fatigue and aid in recovery from intense training.
Always be sure to do your research before allowing your athlete to take any supplements! Not only could the ingredients be impure, they can be dangerous and possibly trip them up on a drug test. Next Level Fitness has done a good deal of research on the subject and found a product line called DotFit, that is NSF certified. NSF certification assures that the product does not contain dangerous ingredients, verifies the ingredients match the contents, and assures no athletic banned substances are in the product. DotFit products are available online or at Next Level.
If you are interested in our DotFit products, our Creatine is called No Rage; our BCAAs are called Amino Boost XXL and protein is called “First String.” If you decide to purchase all three from Next Level, you’ll save 10%.
Whatever product you choose, read the ingredient list carefully, and use examine.com to make sure the ingredients are not harmful or useless for the athlete.