Personally, I’m all about minimalism and not wasting money on useless crap. There are a lot of products out there marketed as things you NEED to feel and perform your best and it can be tough finding what is worth it and what is not. I get a lot of questions about protein powder, protein bars, etc. so I put together a little list of things I personally like to consume and things I have found to be helpful to my athletes.
Creatine is a compound found primarily in muscle cells in both the body and in food, especially red meat. Creatine has been shown to be safe to use for adolescents and adults as long as you don’t have any liver or kidney dysfunctions. There are numerous studies that show the use of creatine is linked to an increase in lean body mass, increase in power output, and an increase in creatine levels in skeletal muscle. Our body utilizes creatine as a source of fuel during activities with short bursts of work, giving us more energy readily available, which backs up the increase in power finding. Take 5-10 grams a day and take it consistently. If you are an athlete that’s looking to move faster, jump higher, and have more energy-this is a supplement you want to look into and try for yourself (make sure it's creatine monohydrate). I use 1st Phorm because it doesn't have a grainy texture and is tasteless, but I have heard Thorne is really good as well.
2. Collagen Protein-
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the human body, found in the bones, muscles, skin, and tendons. Collagen is a hard, insoluble, and fibrous protein that makes up one-third of the protein in the human body. There are at least 16 different types, but 80 to 90 percent of them belong to types 1, 2, and 3. These different types have different structures and functions. This protein is responsible for healthy joints and skin elasticity, or stretchiness and as we age and can be especially helpful for people who are hypermobile. I use Bubs because it’s a good price point, it dissolves really well, and it’s flavorless-which means no artificial sweeteners or additives. I like to put this in my tea or coffee, but you can also add it to a shake or any other beverage you like.
3. Perfect bars-
These are so convenient and tasty! No added synthetic sugars or sweeteners, it’s gluten free, all that jazz. You can get them in a pack at Aldi, Stop & Shop, or online. I don’t like protein bars and neither does my stomach so these are a great replacement for me and anyone that is sensitive to gluten and sweeteners/fillers. My only complaint is that there are seed oils in it (sunflower seed oil). I really like these though because they're high in cals (340 cals), fat (19 grams), protein (17 grams), and carbs (27 grams). It also has a decent amount of fiber at 3 grams per bar. My favorite is the original, the peanut butter chocolate chip, and coconut.
This is kind of a joke that I put this on here but in all seriousness....drink water, you don't need gatorade or powerade. There is so much junk in these drinks, and the negatives to drinking this stuff outweigh the benefits. Check out Dr.Heenan’s posts on Gatorade and Powerade- Gatorade vs Powerade, Gatorade vs Powerade Follow Up, High Fructose Corn Syrup. Half your body weight in ounces of water plus whatever you drink during practice or games is great. If you insist on taking something there are plenty of better electrolyte drink options out there-here's a powder by Thorne.
I’m a big fan of convenient and minimal ingredients and these hashbrowns are perfect. They’re super easy and can add a good amount of cals to breakfast or any meal honestly. You can get these at Kroger, Target, Stop and Shop, WholeFoods, or online. They sell out fast when they're restocked-so grab them when you see them!
This is hands down my favorite tea. I have been drinking this since I can remember. When I was a kid, I would go over my grandparents house and my grandmother would always give us Milano cookies (my favorite) and sleepytime tea with honey. This tea really helps me to relax and whenever I go through times where I’m having trouble sleeping I will drink this tea before bed. It hasn’t let me down! Pro tip-I will also add the collagen protein I mentioned earlier and get some extra protein in too. I highly reccommend this for kids and adults who have trouble falling asleep. They also have Sleepytime Extra.
Give these a try and let me know how you like them! If you found this article helpful and are looking to get an edge on the competition shoot me an email and I would be glad to help you.