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Top Supplements for Athletes in the Offseason

by Dr. Jason Barker January 16, 2014

Top Supplements for Athletes in the Offseason

It’s the middle of January, and chances are it’s cold, dark and wet where you live. Not the ideal time to get at it, so for many of us this is truly the offseason, where we conserve energy and focus on rest and recovery.

Personally, I utilize quite a variety of supplements as my training evolves throughout the year. Here’s what I took during my most intense training last summer and fall, preparing for the Ironman.

And now that I’m essentially in recovery mode, I’m on a less intense, yet still important, supplement regimen.

It’s ok, and actually a good idea to adjust your supplement regimen according to your training volume.

So here’s what I’m taking now while I focus on getting quality sleep, doing only mild exercise (yoga mixed with a bit of high intensity drills), and giving myself a mental break from last season’s intensity.

1. Multivitamin Mineral

Ideally, you eat a healthy diet where you derive the majority of your nutrients. A good multi vitamin will make sure nothing falls through the cracks, so that your nutrient levels are topped off. This is important when your body is in recovery mode – you want it to have all the raw materials it needs to repair and restore. Not to mention a multi will give you some extra protection against chronic disease like cancers and heart disease.

Be sure to take your multi with some food – this will ensure it is absorbed adequately. I don’t take mine in the morning – a lot of people can have a sensitive stomach early in the day. I take mine at night after dinner, so the nutrients are in my body and doing their work while I’m sleeping.

2. Omega-3s

Omega-3 fatty acids are super healthy fats that keep inflammation down, protect your heart, improve brain function and keep your joints lubricated, to name a few.

Look for high amounts of these Omega-3’s:

-Alpha-linolenic acid (ALA) found walnuts, flaxseeds, and olive oil.
-Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) found primarily in fish oil.
-Eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) also found in fish oil.

Take your Omega-3s with food as well!

3. Cortisol Manager

Cortisol is often billed as a ‘stress’ hormone. And while it does good things in our body, and we couldn’t live without it, it can cause a lot of problems when it gets too high.

Cortisol levels become high with stress – whether it be from life or strenuous training. And when it’s high one thing it can do is prevent you from getting a good sleep.

Quality sleep is always important, and especially so in the off-season when your body should be resting and recovering.

High nighttime cortisol can wake you up, and keep you awake preventing a restorative sleep. Cortisol Manager helps bring cortisol levels down (where they should be) at night, so you can stay asleep.

The offseason is an ideal time to give your body a break, and allow it to rest and catch up on any healing that may have been delayed from last season. Getting plenty of rest, eating a nutrient-rich diet, and adding in these supplements will make you stronger for the next season!

Dr. Jason Barker
Dr. Jason Barker

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