Football is hands down one of the most (if not the most) physically demanding sports at all levels, and especially demanding at the college and professional levels. There's wide receivers that can run 40 yards in just over four seconds (wow!!), and then you have monstrous linemen that can bench 250 pounds 30-plus times. You have quarterbacks that can sling a football 70 or 80 yards down the field right into the hands of a waiting receiver, and running backs that can carry defenders on their back as if they were small children. There are linebackers that can hit you hard enough that a single hit can be roughly equivalent to being in the driver's seat when your car hits a brick wall at 18-20 mph, and kickers that can boot a ball through two posts from 50-plus yards away with the wind blowing right in their face.
From high school to the pros, football players are always looking for the best ways to take their game to the next level. One of the easiest, yet most overlooked, ways to do this is to incorporate a solid nutrition and supplementation plan. While proper nutrition is the solid foundation for fuel, daily performance, and recovery, the proper supplements will ensure you get the most out of your workouts, optimize recovery, and perform at your peak for all four quarters.
So, what are the best supplements for football players?
Today, we are going to discuss 3 products that will not only will help football athletes perform at their peak ability and help to improve performance, but will also be staples that will help with boosting performance, gains in both strength and size during the offseason, and optimizing recovery between workouts and practices.
TOP 3 SUPPLEMENTS
CR-3 by Inspired Nutraceuticals
CR-3 Nitrates is the latest version of CR-3 from the masterminds at Inspired Nutraceuticals. This astounding formula takes a clinical dose of creatine nitrate and combines it with two very synergistic support ingredients in AstraGin and Senactiv. These additions not only help to enhance creatine absorption and further boost ATP levels, but also provides 2 additional benefits that make this formula truly exceptional and unique - enhanced VO2 max and muscular endurance support!
Creatine is still the number 1 supplement in the industry for boosting sports performance, with proven benefits such as boosting ATP levels for more energy, increased strength and power, increased muscle mass and thickness, increased muscular recovery, improving athletic performance, and enhancing overall workload/volume capabilities. Creatine nitrate however, provides benefits far beyond that of normal creatine supplementation. Nitrates have the distinct abilities to reduce oxygen depletion, improve exercise performance by reducing the oxygen cost of exercise, and enhancing skeletal muscle function, therefore helping you train longer and harder. Nitrates can also increase energy supplies to muscles for increased performance. By binding creatine to nitrates rather than monohydrates, this delivers a double punch for increasing training abilities and increasing athletic performance!
But the benefits don't stop there! CR-3 Nitrates also contains a clinical dose of Senactiv® -- a potent and powerful combination of two adaptogenic extracts – Notoginseng root (Panax notoginseng, aka san-chi ginseng) and rose hips (Rosa roxburghii) (Kuo 2020) - that when combined, pack quite the performance boosting haymaker. Senactiv® has been clinically tested and scientifically proven to increase time to exhaustion in high intensity interval training, increase ATP production (making it the perfect combination with creatine), speed up recovery by reducing inflammation in the muscle and increasing muscle glycogen levels, and eliminate deteriorating muscle cells.
The results of multiple studies show athletes given Senactiv® the night before testing indicate that the group who used Senactiv® saw an approximate 20% increase in their high intensity interval training cycling time-to-exhaustion on their VO2max. The results of this study prove Senactiv® can increase time to exhaustion (endurance time) during high intensity interval training.
Senactiv helps increase muscle glycogen levels by preserving the insulin receptor and muscle glycogen transporter on muscle membrane during high intensity interval training to ensure a continuous supply of blood glucose goes into the muscles to restore muscle glycogen levels for them to function properly. During high intensity interval training, this blood supply is disrupted and muscle glycogen stores are depleted. Senactiv overcomes this disruption by resorting muscle glycogen levels.. This is supported by the studies listed above where Senactiv can increase endurance time, reduce muscle soreness (through increasing muscle glycogen levels and reducing oxidative stress) and inflammation and eliminate senescent muscle cells.
With so many astounding benefits, it's easy to see why CR-3 is at the top of this list. It is the perfect combination for any football athlete looking to not only increase performance in the gym and on the field, but also strength gains (always a plus in this sport), and gains in lean muscle mass!
Rebuild by Titan Nutrition
Recovery, it is without a doubt the single most important part of any training or exercise program, and is especially important for athletes competing in such a demanding sport. Proper recovery allows for improved performance, permits time for our body to heal itself in preparation for the next training load or game day, and greatly decreases the risk of potential injury.
Rebuild by Titan Nutrition is a comprehensive post-workout formula designed with one major goal in mind - to supply everyone from elite athletes (and in this case, football athletes of all levels), to everyday gym goers, to weekend warriors the post-workout nutrition needed to cover every facet of recovery, including muscle tissue repair, glycogen replenishment, rehydration with electrolytes, joint rejuvenation and protection, cell hydration and expansion, increasing muscle protein synthesis, and energy production.
Rebuild starts off with a synergistic blend of Instantized Whey Protein Isolate and fast-absorbing carbohydrates (Dextrose) to deliver a rush of amino acids to the muscle tissue, which will jumpstart the body's recovery process, leaving you with stronger and bigger muscle fibers. This allows more force and power to be produced equaling more weight being moved in subsequent training sessions, and stronger, more explosive athletes on the field. The fast-acting carbohydrates will replenish glycogen stores used up during intense exercise to restore energy levels, and help to transport amino acids to the muscles enhancing the overall recovery process.
Carbohydrates are a critical and absolutely vital part of the post-workout equation and deserve prominent place in your workout recovery arsenal. They're an efficient, clean-burning fuel for virtually every function in your body, from movement to breathing to reading these very words. And research has shown that restricting carbohydrates can lead to a reduction in athletic performance during certain types of activities.
High-intensity activities such as strength training, sprinting, Olympic lifting, etc.. rely heavily on carbohydrates for fuel, usually in the form of glycogen, which is stored directly in your muscles. Without carbs, your body burns fat instead, which works fine for lower-intensity activities like walking and jogging, but burns too slowly to power high-intensity training sessions. (If you've ever tried running sprints or strength training when you're very hungry, you'll know exactly what I mean!)
High-quality protein intake is absolutely vital for maintaining high levels of physical function. As an athlete, high-quality protein offers an abundance of benefits including promoting satiety or the feeling of fullness which is beneficial for athletes who are often fueling their bodies for long stretches of time or trying to achieve weight loss, help maintaining your muscle mass and preventing muscle wasting, building and strengthening muscles, and helps preventing muscle protein breakdown.
Next, Rebuild is formulated with six different complexes to ensure every aspect of recovery is fully covered. First, we have the Enhanced Recovery Complex consisting of Betaine Anhydrous, Creatine Monohydrate, and L-Glutamine to increase cell hydration and energy production (ATP), help with ridding the body of harmful toxins, and enhancing tissue repair.
Next, is the Oxidative Defense Complex helps reduce inflammation and rid the body of free radicals that can damage healthy cells that can drastically hinder the recovery process. The Flex Form Joint Health Complex is comprised of Glucosamine, MSM, and Cissus Quadrangularis to help further reduce inflammation, support connective tissue repair, and provide overall joint protection. Up next is the Hydro-Electrolyte Complex to help rehydrate the body after a grueling workout, help transfer nutrients after your workout, and ensure peak muscle contractions.
Lastly is the Revival B Complex. This complex is formulated to replenish key vitamins and minerals that were depleted during training, which will revitalize the mind and body, as well as help convert fuel to energy in the skeletal muscles.
Let's recap here... recovery, natural energy, anti-inflammatory benefits, stronger and bigger muscle fibers, rehydrating the body after a grueling training session or practice, increase cell hydration and energy production, ridding the body of free radicals that can damage healthy cells, and more force and power produced... this is a football athlete's dream supplement!!
Leg Day by Nutrabio
Football is a stop-and-go sport with short bursts of intense effort followed by rest. Therefore, the primary fuel substrate for football is carbohydrates. Carbohydrates must be the main fuel source. Players will not recover in time for the next practice unless carbohydrate intakes are adequate.Yet for many players, carbohydrate intake is sub-optimal. Getting enough carbohydrates is key and absolutely crucial for optimal performance and recovery. Hydration is also critical for both performance and to ward off heat-related illness.
Think of Leg Day as the high octane fuel to power performance into overdrive! Leg Day combines some of the most highly researched and tested ingredients (such as Highly-Branched Cyclic Dextrin for carbs, BCAAs, EAAs, L-Taurine, electrolytes, and Senactiv just to name a few) at clinical doses all into one robust and prolific formula to deliver an apex intra-workout "dream come true" experience.
Leg Day's comprehensive and colossal combination of ingredients works together very synergistically to drastically enhance muscular endurance, delay muscle fatigue, rapidly restore ATP levels for peak power output and enhance workload capabilities, improve maximal anaerobic performance, optimize hydration for peak performance and peak muscle contractions, reduce muscular soreness, aid in muscular recovery, enhance cognition (focus, concentration, mental clarity), heighten mood and motivation, support muscle preservation and regeneration, and stimulate protein synthesis to enhance muscle growth.
Leg Day combines a potent combination of 2 well-known and highly researched carbohydrates -- Cluster Dextrin - Highly Branched Cyclic Dextrin (HBCD) and Bioenergy Ribose (D-Ribose). Due to its unique branched structure HBCD is digested extremely fast and then absorbed rapidly and sent to the muscles equally fast. The faster the carbs and the essential amino acids reach your muscles, the better the workout and quicker the recovery. This leads to extraordinary benefits that include an excellent energy source and help boosting athletic performance, help in faster recovery after a workout, help increasing strength and improving lean muscle gains while helping you to lose fat. It's also highly soluble and provides increased absorption and improved transportation of nutrients, increased stamina and endurance, and reduced DOMS (delayed onset of muscle soreness).
D-Ribose is a sugar molecule that occurs naturally in the body and is made from blood glucose. It's a key component of adenosine triphosphate (ATP), a molecule involved in storing and releasing energy, muscle contraction, and nerve impulse propagation -- in fact ATP is the primary source of energy that is used to power the movement of contraction in working muscles -- and ribonucleic acid (RNA), a molecule involved in protein synthesis and other cell activities.
Ribose is the precursor to ATP (energy) production in the cell. Whereas creatine quickly recycles ADP + Pi to make ATP, ribose is actually used to manufacture ATP from scratch. The benefits of creatine, carbohydrate or any other nutrient will be seriously hampered if cellular ATP, ADP and AMP are low – and ribose is the only solution. When ATP is broken down into ADP + Pi (adinosine diphosphate + inorganic phosphate) energy is released and this is used to power all our bodily functions. Naturally then, it is the breakdown of ATP within the cells of the working muscles that provides the energy for exercise. Without it you wouldn’t be going anywhere!
But Leg Day doesn't stop there. No no... this performance boosting powerhouse is just getting warmed up! Next, this formula contains a robust performance matrix which is a powerful combination of 4 ingredients -- Mucuna Pruriens (L-DOPA), elevATP,
Leg Day also encompasses a monstrous dose of aminos at 8.6 grams per serving, especially since they are formulated with a plethora of other performance enhancing ingredients.
Amino acids are the building blocks of protein, and muscle tissue. They fulfill the basic foundations of well-being like vitamins and minerals whilst also optimizing those micronutrients and providing the fuel for growth, health, good functioning of the body and genetic transcription.
Last, but not least, Leg Day contains a loaded Electrolyte & Hydration Optimizer made up of L-Taurine, coconut water, and electrolytes. As I've mentioned a few times in this blog, proper hydration is vital to optimal performance, especially during training! Intense exercise causes intense sweating, and when you sweat, you're not only losing water, but valuable electrolytes too. These same electrolytes are responsible for optimal muscle function.
Football is an extremely demanding game (on and off the field) that demands peak performance from the body and mind. It requires split second reactions and tremendous study of how to attack opponents to get the offense to the endzone and the defense to deny that endzone. Athletes are also asked to take in mountains of scripted plays with alternative audibles based on scenarios presented before the snap, and perform at their peak ability not only during games, but at every practice as well.
While proper diet, rest, and training are the staples and are always number 1, certain supplements (especially those with mountains of studies and evidence) can take your game and athletic ability to the next level!