High school sports are almost back. Is your athlete getting the best nutrition?
School is almost back, and that means the return of high school sports! If your teenager is a competitive athlete looking to achieve the best physical shape possible for the upcoming sports year, NUTRISHOP has plenty of effective, safe supplements that will help them build the muscle and athletic edge to compete at their highest levels ever.
The teenage body is (clearly) much different than a full-grown one — while still growing, there are many processes that cannot be interfered with, hindered or accelerated, whether it’s through diet or supplements. A common question we get in the store is about products’ safety, and unless a product was safe, we wouldn’t say it is! That’s why we’re highlighting seven supplements this week, all of which are safe and effective for all, including that teen athlete you care about who wants to add some extra muscle to a growing frame or wants to achieve a better athletic physique.
To begin, we’ll start with protein, a mainstay in just about every athlete’s diet. It repairs broken-down muscle and helps build new tissue for increased strength and decreased body fat. A more efficient metabolism is also common with increased protein consumption (and this comes in handy for high-schoolers who happen to eat 1) frequently and 2) usually not as cleanly as is ideal for competitive athletes).
To that end, we’d recommend one of the following:
Forza Pro protein is a great choice for young athletes to build muscle.
With four primary blends in FORZA PRO, you can count on there being no gaps in the protein delivery you’re seeking:
- Rapid-Release Blend: With micro filtered whey protein concentrate, micro filtered whey protein isolate, hydrolyzed whey protein isolate and hydrolyzed casein, this blend’s primary focus is immediate recovery, making FORZA PRO a superior post-workout option. When your muscles are searching for amino acids and proteins to help rebuild broken-down tissues, fast protein uptake is the most important thing your shake can provide.
- Extended-Release Blend: Featuring micellar casein, milk protein isolate, calcium caseinate and potassium caseinate, this blend addresses the fact that muscle breakdown and synthesis continues well after the first hour following your workout. When your muscles are sore and tired throughout the day, it’s a sign telling you that they’re still rebuilding. With slower-absorbing proteins available from FORZA PRO, your body will use them (and not existing muscle tissue) to refuel the amino acid stores it needs.
- Growth Factors Blend: Colostrum, L-Arginine and L-Ornithine make up this crucial blend, which helps provide boosts to the body’s ability to produce growth hormone, muscle tissue and nitric oxide in the bloodstream. This blend works together to signal the body to go into “growing mode,” ever-important for anybody trying to gain lean muscle.
- Training Recovery Blend: We mentioned N-acetyl L-glutamine (NAG) earlier in the week, and it’s the primary ingredient of this blend. Glutamine is critical to fast muscle and tissue recovery, and the acetylated version makes it much more stable and bioavailable — meaning your body can access it much faster for quicker absorption.
Plus, FORZA PRO contains Aminogen, a patented formula designed to keep the body’s nitrogen balance positive so it can continue to synthesize proteins, building muscle throughout the day.
Pro7ein Synthesis combines WPI Protein Complex (Cross-Flow Microfiltered Whey Protein Isolate, Hydrolyzed Whey Protein Isolate) and WPC5 Protein Complex™ (Whey Protein Concentrate, Hydrolyzed Casein, Potassium Caseinate, Micellar Casein, Egg Albumin).
Here’s a list of all seven types, and what they do:
- Whey isolate: Very quickly absorbed, and usually come with few extra calories.
- Hydrolyzed isolate: Pre-broken down into peptides, which basically takes the step of digesting them out of the process. It makes them the fastest-digesting of the seven in Pro7.
- Whey concentrate: Also quickly absorbed, though not as fast as isolates or hydrolyzed isolates. Most commercial protein powders are mostly made up of whey concentrate.
- Hydrolyzed casein: Again, because of the process of pre-breakdown, this is yet another form of a typically slow-digesting protein altered to deliver nutrients much more quickly.
- Potassium caseinate: A much more slowly-absorbing form that takes about five to seven hours to cycle through the system.
- Micellar casein: The slowest-digesting of the seven, it is actually micro filtered so as to separate the lactose from the protein itself.
- Egg albumin: Egg white protein is the one whole food with the most bioavailable protein content of all. A mid-range protein when it comes to absorption rate.
Why take them all at once? Simply put, to cover all your bases for the longest period of time — you are looking to stay anabolic, so a staggered release of protein into the system is important.Your muscles can spend up to three days recovering from a workout, so it makes sense to provide it with protein often. Taking seven types of it at once ensures that your muscles won’t be starved for proteins, because they’ll be in your system.
To add to that athletic edge, many athletes prefer to take a pre-workout product. This is a very popular new field of supplements because of the impressive attributes many of them have — greater strength, focus, energy and blood flow during a workout are all beneficial to an athlete’s gains. Some products are not entirely safe; in fact, just last year a very popular form of caffeine was banned outright by the FDA in all major sports and the products that contained it were forced to reformulate. It can still be tough to parse out which ones are best for a teenage athlete. That’s why we’ve done it here.
N’Rage is a next-generation nitric oxide compound designed to increase muscle size, strength, vascularity and endurance mainly by increasing the blood flow and oxygen and nutrient delivery to your muscle cells.
Think back to your good workouts — when you’re effectively targeting a muscle area, blood rushes to that area and you experience the “pump” effect. The main ingredients in N’Rage include L-Arginine AKG (2:1), also known as AAKG, which is an enhanced precursor of nitric oxide. N’Rage works with your body to create the production of nitric oxide in your system, thus enhancing blood flow.
“Exercise Prescription (ExRx)” online pointed out that AAKG has been under research since 1989, and the main takeaways from its studies were significant gains in strength over short periods of time, as well as an increase in lean muscle mass, when combined with intense exercise. Since nitric oxide production is keyed by N’Rage’s main ingredient, arginine, it’s important to note the bottom-line thought on it. From a 1997 study in the International Journal of Sports Nutrition:
“It can safely be theorized that arginine may have an anabolic effect on the human body by increasing levels of nitric oxide and growth hormone.”
N’FUZE stands alone with its high-quality Krealkalyn blend for strength, muscle size and workout energy.
N’FUZE, meanwhile, is another great product that you can pair with N’RAGE. It contains a buffered version of creatine known as Kre-Alkalyn, which studies have shown reduces nearly all of the creatinin conversion. The bottom line: You get more pure creatine to your muscles, to maximize strength, mass and endurance gains in the muscle without having to take ungodly doses of it.
Another area where N’FUZE stands apart from regular creatine monohydrate is in its other blend elements, including:
- Beta-Alanine: It’s a celebrated non-essential amino acid that peer-reviewed research suggests boosts Carnosine. The major benefit here is in cellular endurance thanks to an additional boost to ATP (cellular energy) as well as strength output.
- L-Taurine AKG: Another amino acid, this form is more readily available for absorption and aids in providing muscular volume through hydration. A University of Arizona study dating back to 1996 notes that “taurine is essential for cardiovascular function, and development and function of skeletal muscle, the retina and the central nervous system.”
Our teenage years have the potential to be quite awkward, as many young athletes tend to grow taller well before they start filling out their frames with muscle. This can be less than ideal for an athlete in a physical sport! That’s why adding muscle mass and supporting the growing body is paramount. Because of this, any high school athlete looking to add muscle should look into taking a high-protein, high-carb gainer. We’ve got a great one: GAINER7.
GAINER7, made by Vitasport, is a protein blend with the same outstanding protein properties of Pro7ein Synthesis, but with nearly double the protein per serving and a 2-1 carb-protein ratio that studies have shown to be critical when it comes to post-workout replenishment.
GAINER7 is one of the cleanest gainer products available, offering more than 700 calories per serving without weighing you down the bad way — with fat and sugar. The carb blend in GAINER7 is primarily derived from whole wheat, maltodextrin and dextrose, for a staggered release of blood sugar and anabolic insulin, without the vicious spike and crash you’d get from cheaper, faster-burning sugars.
And, like Pro7ein Synthesis, GAINER7 contains Aminogen, which naturally boosts the nitrogen in the system to help keep you anabolic. With the amino acids protein provide to help you build muscle and recover, the 54-gram serving of protein is an ideal ratio for anybody looking to put on size; the different absorption rates of the seven protein types ensures that the maximum amount of protein will reach your recovering muscles without being wasted.
GAINER7 is among NUTRISHOP’s newest supplements from Vitasport and is sure to be a hit once people see the success an effective gainer can bring — without those super-sweet fillers and additives you might get in “other” gainers. Be sure to ask any certified NUTRISHOP employee about GAINER7 if you’re interested in packing on muscle without the unnecessary fat that can come with it.
Recovery is also essential for athletes, especially young high school ones new to building muscle. Because the body is constantly growing during our teen years, it needs as much help with muscle recovery as possible. This is where a good glutamine supplement can really pay off. We recommend GLUTACOR.
It is indeed muscle recovery, and not the breakdown you’re doing in the weight room, that is the most important phase of the athlete’s muscular development. The “American Journal of Physiological Endocrinology and Metabolism” showed in a 2002 study that proper amino acid intake after working out is critical to stimulating muscle protein balance; the key makeup of Glutacor is designed to provide the quality amino acid glutamine.
Glutacor is a mega-dosed glutamine-based formula that delivers a wide range of benefits to a wide range of people. Specifically, young adults looking for healthier, more athletic figures will find glutamine to be essential, but so too will women who want to improve tone or men looking for an increase in general fitness.
Its most obvious advantage: The faster your body recovers, the faster you can get back to doing the hard work in the gym. Glutacor, available exclusively at Nutrishop, is designed to speed up that recovery process.
But there’s more to it than that…..
Research has shown that glutamine is an important supplement for those recovering from surgery, particularly gastric bypass patients. In 2003, John Brosnan from “Journal of Nutrition” explained in a study for The American Society of Nutritional Sciences that illness and injury go hand-in-hand with “the loss of massive amounts of glutamine” from the muscles. Glutacor is vital to people recovering from injury, or looking to avoid it.
In 2004, one Dutch study in Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care backed up that idea with its judgment: “Glutamine has a major impact on the functionality of the immune system. … Glutamine not only has a protective effect on cells of the immune system, but also on other cells of the body.”
Not all glutamine products are created equal, however. Glutacor is superior to other glutamine products thanks to its high dose of five different forms for better absorption into the body. Glutacor also features the Electrolyte Hydration Blend, which helps replenish electrolytes and keep the body hydrated, and Glutacor is also the only glutamine product to feature GlycoCarn, which has powerful antioxidant properties designed to help rid the body of metabolic waste and decrease muscle fatigue.
Finally, to round out your high school athlete’s supplement cabinet, be sure to include a high-quality BCAA supplement. Branched Chain Amino Acids are crucial to building new muscle tissue and preventing breakdown of the muscle the body already has, imperative considering how fast teen metabolisms tend to run. In high metabolisms especially, muscle is considered calorically expensive to maintain, and often it is broken down and used for energy first. Our best-selling BCAA product, BCAA SPORT, is a great choice to prevent catabolism, the breakdown of muscle tissue.
BCAA SPORT is an instantized BCAA blend you can take before, during and after your workout for maximum benefits. It is bolstered by the addition of citrulline malate (an amino acid that increases lactic acid metabolism and therefore reduces workout fatigue), as well as acai berry, pomegranate, Resveratrol and grape seed extract for their antioxidant properties. Resveratrol, found in grape skin, is the antioxidant supply in red wine, and has been shown to have positive effects on blood sugar as well as being an anti-carcinogen in mice. Acai berry and pomegranate are well-know for their ability to eliminate free radicals in the system.
This blend doesn’t stop there. On top of all that, BCAA SPORT also includes Glutamine AKG (GAKG), L-Taurine and Eleuthero Root (a form of ginseng) for endurance and recovery, not to mention a full dose of electrolytes to help keep the cells hydrated and functioning at optimal levels. A University of Arizona study found taurine to be “essential for cardiovascular function, and development and function of skeletal muscle,” and Eleuthero Root was found by the Journal of Ethnopharmacology to increase endurance and reduce fatigue.