Supplements to Boost Performance and Recovery
While taking a food first approach is ideal for optimal nutrient levels, targeted supplementation can help you take your tennis performance and recovery to the next level. Read on for a few of our favorite ways to supplement.
An essential mineral and co-factor for over 300 biochemical reactions in the human body, magnesium plays many critical roles including energy metabolism and the maintenance of normal muscle function. Studies have shown that magnesium may improve exercise performance via enhancing glucose availability in the brain, muscle, and blood, and by reducing/delaying lactate accumulation in the blood. Studies have also shown that there is an increased need for magnesium as an individual’s activity levels go up which is critical information for athletes. In addition to supplementation, be sure to include plenty of whole food sources of magnesium in your diet such as dark leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and avocado.
Found naturally in the human body, glutathione is an antioxidant, made up of the amino acids l-cysteine, glycine, and glutamate. It is produced by liver and nerve cells. Why is it important? Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are unstable, inflammatory molecules that form in response to diet and environmental factors. When the amount of free radicals exceeds available antioxidants, oxidative stress occurs and cells are damaged. In the context of physical activity like tennis, blood flow to the muscles is heightened as the body delivers oxygen and nutrients for performance. As oxygen usage increases, free radicals increase as well. Studies have shown that glutathione supplementation can help with post exercise muscle fatigue and has anti-inflammatory benefits. Glutathione is also naturally occurring in sulfur rich vegetables, including kale, garlic, and onions.
Vitamin D, also known as the sunshine vitamin, is synthesized when your skin gets sun exposure. Not only does this conversion decrease as age increases, many people spend most of their days indoors without adequate sunshine, and deficiencies are common. Vitamin D is crucial for bone and muscle health, and supplementation has been linked to improvements in athletic performance. Testing current Vitamin D levels before supplementation is recommended in order to know your baseline and not exceed recommended upper limits. Look for options that combine D3 with K2 which ensures that the Vitamin D is best absorbed by the bones. Food sources of Vitamin D include oily fish, liver, eggs, and butter.
Digestion is the top healing priority of the body and when functioning optimally, provides a strong and stable foundation for overall health. Our bodies have both good and bad bacteria and the key is to keep them in balance with each other. Good bacteria promote healthy digestive function, strong gut immunity, decreased inflammation levels, and proper elimination of toxins. Probiotics can be used to supplement these healthy bacteria and keep overall levels robust. There are many options on the market and it’s good practice to rotate brands month to month in order to vary the probiotic strains you’re taking. Lacto-fermented foods such as sauerkraut, kimchi, and kefir are also great sources of probiotics.
Sodium and potassium, two key minerals, are lost through sweat during exercise. They must be replenished, especially for performance and recovery with intense workouts. We recommend you consume an electrolyte drink before, during, and after your tennis practices and matches. Check out our homemade electrolyte drink and our favorite option for travel friendly packets, LMNT.
The combination of a balanced, anti-inflammatory diet and key supplements can be a powerful duo for peak performance and recovery. Focusing on optimizing your energy levels, along with reducing stressors on your body, is a great way to increase your endurance and play more competitively.
Information on this website is provided for informational purposes only. This information is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by a licensed physician or other healthcare professional or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. Do not use the information on this web site for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing medication or other treatment. Always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement, or using any treatment for a health problem.