Navigating the Overwhelming World of Nutritional Supplements
Get fit. Maximize nutrition. Recover smarter. These phrases are mantras for my NEW YEAR, NEW ME plan; so, naturally, I recruited help from my local supplement store. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t hoping to find a magic pill to make me leaner, faster, stronger.
Stepping into the store, my confident, girl-on-a-mission demeanor quickly diminished and confusion set in. The shelves towered over me, bottles emblazoned with long scientific names.
I crept the aisles, pretending to know what I was looking for, careful not to make any quick moves and attract the salesperson’s attention. Isolates. Whey. Amino Acids. CLA. All of these terms were familiar, but in a store full of multi-sized, colored tubs, their meanings were obsolete. What did I actually need to maintain lean body mass, recover after workouts, or fuel during long runs? What did I need to help fulfill my New Years resolution?
Fortunately, I found Mike Steiert, from Jax Sports Nutrition. Beyond quest bars and protein bagels, I hadn’t dared to step into Mike’s supplement aisles, but Mike and his staff are different. They greeted me with smiles and even a hug. I felt at ease. “Educating the public on nutritional needs is one of our top priorities,” Mike assured me.
Uncharted protein territory…
Mike explained that protein is essential to keeping your metabolism revved throughout the day.
The best after workout protein is isolate protein. Isolates are in and out of your system in 30 minutes. These are best taken post workout so that your body can absorb and replenish quickly what was lost during the workout.
At night, before bed, he recommends casein protein. Casein will stay in your system for 8 hours, boosting metabolism throughout the night.
There are various mixtures and blends of isolate, egg, whey and casein proteins, or you can buy each protein separately. Jax Sport Nutrition’s most popular protein blend brand is INTEK evolution. They also carry a brand called Sun Warrior – a vegan, organic, non gmo protein powder.
Spinning around carbs…
We hit the next aisle – BCAA’s, CLA, Glutamine, and products with less scientific names like Cheat, and Test Boost. My head started to spin. Mike explained it simply.
For long workouts, carbohydrates need to be replaced. Runners commonly use gu’s and gels, but Mike also suggested trying one of their pure liquid form carbohydrates.
BCAA’s, branch chain amino acids, are used during long workouts to reduce protein and muscle breakdown.
Glutamine is taken to help muscles recover from long workouts and will enhance overall body functions. Most recovery drinks contain glutamine, or you can just buy it on your own and mix it into whatever you are drinking.
The most important information I took away…Eating right is EVERYTHING. Mike reminded me that supplements are useless unless you eat well. Jax Sports Nutrition offers personalized meal plans free of charge and also sells precooked frozen meals make healthy lifestyles convenient.