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One main challenge to any strength coach is keeping their college athletes healthy while the are away at school. At Jackson Strength we have a few tricks we use and a majority of them involve using supplements. Now, I know that not all health practitioners are sold on supplements and their main argument is that we should be able to get all of our nutrients from food. This is a great hypothetical concept but these are usually people that don’t actually work with athletes or maybe not even anyone at all. Realistically, college athletes have some of the worst options when it comes to eating well. Especially incoming freshman who are forced to eat in the dorm cafeteria for their first and second years. The lack of home cooked food and the introduction of crap cafeteria fare are the main reasons for “The Freshman Fifteen” (which is quickly turning into “The Freshman Fifty”). However, there are some other major players which are less sleep, more stress, more alcohol, and more microwavable foods. So, when choosing supplements to help these athletes we must find an easy and efficient way to get them valuable nutrients that can help to combat these insults. Here are our top 3 products in the order that we recommend them to our athletes.

1) Athlete Restore Rice/Pea: This gluten-free, dairy-free and  vegan protein powder from is a major heavy hitter when it comes to nutrient density. Realistically, you can’t send a college athlete off to school with six bottles of supplements and expect them to actually take them. Since Athlete Restore is actually detox support, protein, a multi-vitamin, an anti-inflammatory, and multi-mineral all wrapped into one, we have a much better chance of getting these necessary nutrients into their bodies. It really fits the bill nicely for a college athlete because often times they have early workouts when the cafeteria is still closed and it can be used for a quick and easily digestible breakfast or even a snack between classes.  Due to it’s 26 grams of hypo-allergenic rice and pea protein and the addition of glutamine, taurine, and glycine; it is also well-suited for a post-workout shake. As the name alludes to, it is designed to support restoration and recovery which is obviously important for athletes that are training hard in the weight room, in practice, and in the library. My favorite thing about this product is actually it’s ability to counter inflammation using nutrients like ginger, turmeric, quercitin, and rutin. And finally it contains heavy hitting anti-oxidants like N-acetyl-cysteine, selenium glycinate, and Vitamin C which help to counteract the stressful activities and lifestyle of a college athlete.

2) Dynamic Greens (Kiwi-Strawberry Flavor):Even though our Athlete Restore covers most of our nutritional bases, we still have a few holes to plug up. One of those holes is lack of fruits and veggies. Obviously, organic fresh fruits and veggies are our first choice. But once again we are talking real life not just hypothetical here. Dynamic Greens is a powdered blend of organic, anti-oxidant rich, and nutrient dense fruits and vegetables like acai, goji berry, pomegranate, blueberry, kale, broccoli, purple cabbage, spinach, and carrots. Dynamic greens also shines as a replacement for Gatorade, which is basically just sugar and food dye. Unfortunately, every major college still dispenses this crap to uneducated athletes. Instead, Dynamic Greens can provide them with a simple alternative that actually promotes health instead of taking it away. It mixes up easy, tastes great, and contains trace minerals which help replace electrolytes. In addition, it also contains a blend of probiotics like Lactobacillus Acidopholus and Bifidobacterium Breve which have many health benefits. The biggest one for college athletes is their positive contribution to immune system function.

3) Metagenics Ultra Potent-C:  The benefits of Vitamin C are well established, especially for improving immune function. However, did you also know that Vitamin C can also help with raising anti-oxidant enzymes, decreasing the stress hormone cortisol, and speeding up recovery from workouts? Out of all the products we use with our athletes, this one gets the most positive feedback. We will give it to sick or potentially sick athletes and they start to feel better right away and dramatically shorten the sickness period. We believe it’s because Metagenics’ patented form of Vitamin C has been clinically shown to have from 18% to 25% more uptake by white blood cells than regular ascorbic acid.

Wrap Up: Whether you are a parent looking to help out your son or daughter, or an athlete looking for an edge the protocol is pretty simple. Go with Athlete Restore first, Dynamic Greens second, and Ultra Potent-C third. However, I would highly recommend all three for optimal results.

In Health and Awesomeness,