Being a college athlete can be hard. Between balancing classes, practice and maintaining a healthy lifestyle, some things can fall through the cracks. There is also an enormous amount of strain put on the body working out and staying up late to finish homework. Thankfully, there are a few vitamins and supplements that can aid in feeling better, growing muscle and getting stronger. These are the four vitamins and supplements we recommend for college athletes to add to their diet.
Found naturally in sunlight, Vitamin D promotes bone structure support, lessens the risk of cardiovascular diseases, and generally makes us feel better. Supplementing Vitamin D is often more beneficial than taking a multivitamin because most people do not have the ideal amount of Vitamin D in their body.
Available at Bodybuilding.com. 120 softgels from $4-7.
Fish Oil greatly decreases the risk for many harmful diseases, is a tremendous source of omega-3 fatty acids, and can even increase brain activity. Another effect can be a reduction in DOMS, or delayed onset muscle soreness, that many college athletes experience after an especially hard workout.
Available at Bodybuilding.com. 100 softgels for $10, 200 softgels for $15.
Whey Protein is one of the most popular supplements for the essential fact that it gives the body an extra source of protein. Whey can help in trying to gain muscle when bulking or it can be used to maintain lean muscle while trying to lose weight. The common method of taking Whey is in powder form, which can be blended with milk, fruits, peanut butter, etc. This makes for a post workout smoothie that is delicious and also healthy.
Max Roeske, a member of the Dayton Cross Country team, loves the benefits of Whey Protein.
“After a workout, I love having a shake with fruit and Whey because it tastes great and helps my muscles recover. Also, I run seventy miles a week and it’s nice to have that extra protein in my diet. Regular meals are sometimes not enough.”
Available at Bodybuilding.com. 1lb for $15, 2lb for $30.
While supplementing Whey Protein can marginally help in gaining muscle, research shows that Creatine, specifically Creatine Monohydrate, has incredible benefits in trying to get stronger. According to one study found on Examine.com, when taking 5g of Creatine daily, athletes could increase their improvement in strength by 8% and their power output by 14%. Those numbers are a complicated way of saying that when lifting weights, supplementing Creatine can be the thing that fuels you through that last set or last couple of reps. There are also studies that show Creatine improve lung capacity, which can help sprinters and even long distance runners. Creatine should be taken daily and is available in pill form or powder form. Make sure to drink lots of water or you may experience stomach cramping.
Available at Bodybuilding.com. 600 grams for $16, 300 grams for $9.
College athletes can use these supplements and vitamins to improve their strength and lifestyles. It can be hard trying to manage your time as a college athlete and there may not be time to cook a full meal or eat healthy enough. That’s where vitamins and supplements can come in handy. However, it is important to remember that these are not miracle substances. Sleep and a healthy diet are the most essential aspects in getting the most out of these products and becoming a better athlete.