Friday Night Lights
It’s the fourth quarter and the game is tied. There is a chill in the air and the rumble from the home crowd grows as the offensive line approaches the trenches. Time is running out and the home team has to drive 90 yards to ensure that they will continue their playoff run. The hogs on the front line place their hand on the ground, the receivers square off against their foe, the running backs dig their feet into the turf, and the home team general places his hands under center. What happens next is not scripted, but it is a culmination of weeks of hard work and preparation. The team mentioned above could be any team in America on any given Friday Night. Every team works hard in the weight room and on the field. What ultimately could make the difference is the fuel that the players put into their bodies. Supplements are exactly what the home team needs to make that 90 yard drive.
Are Supplements Safe?
The Answer is simply; yes and no. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA. The United States has roughly 30,000 supplements on the market. To achieve fast acting results and to keep cost low some companies include ingredients in their product that can have side effects or cause long term damage. There are numerous reports on the dark side of taking supplements, but for every negative report there is a positive report supporting their effectiveness. There are several products on the market that are tested by independent organizations. One such organization is called Informed Choice. If a product has the Informed Choice green checkmark of approval then you can be confident that the product has no NCAA, Olympic, or Professional Athletics banned substances inside that product. If a professional athlete will take the product then that should reassure your confidence in the safety of that product. Finally, make sure that any products you use have a manufacturer that has an established positive reputation within the supplements industry. The important thing is to do your research and always consult your doctor before taking any supplements. Never put anything inside your body that you don’t trust.
The Best Supplements for Football Players
There are several supplements that are recommended for football players. These supplements are Protein, Creatine, Omega 3 Fatty Acids, Vitamin D, Probiotic, and Amino Acids.
Nutrition research has concluded that the average American doesn’t get enough protein daily. Football Players and athletes should take protein daily, especially as part of their post workout routine. It is recommended that football players consume at least 25 grams of protein as part of a weight management program. Protein helps sustain the muscles so that the body can use carbohydrates and fats as a form of energy. Protein is essential to maintain a healthy body and building muscle mass.
When athletes hit a plateau in their workouts Creatine can be used to help athletes break through that glass ceiling. Creatine stimulates muscle growth to increase size and muscle strength essential to the game of football. Our body does produce Creatine naturally. However, during an intense workout our body will lose its natural Creatine. Taking Creatine before an intense workout will help the body retain Creatine levels used to build muscle mass. To obtain recommended Creatine levels naturally without supplements an athlete would have to consume large quantities of meat before and after their workouts. That is not recommended and not practical. Taking a Creatine supplement is a viable option.
Omega 3 Fatty Acids
Football is a contact sport. Football players in any given season will take a beating on their bodies. Studies have shown that a football collision is similar to being in a car accident. Omega 3 Fatty Acids help the body to heal faster after injuries, bring down swelling and inflammation, and lubricates the joints. Omega 3’s can limit the wear and tear that can occur over the duration of a football season.
We naturally receive Vitamin D from the sunlight radiating from the sun. Today people spend the majority of their time indoors resulting in around 95% of the population with a deficiency of Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential to a football player’s diet because it helps the body absorb calcium. Calcium will strengthen a football players bones preventing those nasty breaks from collisions that occur on the football field.
A football player can take all the food and supplements they want, but it is just a waste of time and money if the body can properly absorb the nutrients. Probiotics provide the digestive system with millions of microorganisms that help break down the food and supplements that a player puts into their body. Then the nutrients are absorbed properly into the body. Probiotics amplify the body’s ability to nourish itself.
Amino Acids are like fuel for your muscles. Protein while in the digestion process breaks down into Amino Acids. Taking an Amino Acids supplement will feed your muscles helping them become leaner and stronger. Leaner muscle means that a players body fat will burn quicker making the football player faster and more agile.
Where To Find The Best Supplements for Football Players
Looking for the right supplements can be a daunting task. Walk into any grocery or health store and the shelves are stocked full of various brands. To find a safe and effective supplement you will need to do your research. The experts recommend you ask someone that you trust to be an expert on the subject. This can be a doctor, nutritionist, personal trainer, or a coach. Once you find the right supplement you should follow the directions for use for at least 30-60 days to get the full benefits of the supplement.
About The Author
Chris Galloway has several years of experience as a high school wrestling and football coach. In 2013 he was named Wrestling Coach of The Year for his high school’s region. As an adult in his 30’s he still competes in open wrestling tournaments. Chris has written several articles on fitness and nutrition. He has a passion to help people achieve their fitness goals. He works hard researching the most current information on athletics, supplements, and fitness. Chris currently has a masters degree with an emphasis in education.