Best Supplements for Football
Since 2008 Garage Strength has had dozens of all state players and multiple football players who started with us in elementary or middle school work their way up into playing in power five conferences like the Big 10 and ACC. We’re talking 5th grade kids that we have taken all the way to becoming 5-star recruits.
We can’t (and won’t) take all the credit. A lot of it has to do with the athletes’ hard work and their constant training to become more mobile, explosive and learning how to absorb force. All of these things are great, but there’s a couple key aspects that go into improving recovery and handling the recovery that goes into football base training and handling the training in general.
We put together a list of five of the key supplements our beast of the gridiron use on a regular basis to improve performance.
Let’s take a gander!
5. Beta Alanine
If we think about football as a sport and how it operates, we will realize as a sport that it’s a long competitive situation. It takes 60 minutes to complete. Athletes are asked to put out a lot of force and then rest, again and again. It is an interval based sport. This results in a lot of lactic acid development.
Beta alanine is a lactic acid buffer. So if an athlete takes it on a regular basis, their body is going to be able to utilize it as an energy source. All of a sudden, the football athlete is going to start to utilize lactic acid as energy, allowing them to operate at a higher speed and tempo.
We recommend 5-7 grams every single day when in season to help put out more power in the fourth quarter.
Football is a sport about technique and positions. Athletes who can recognize what is happening on the field faster tend to put themselves in advantageous positions to win. Add to that an athlete with better muscle memory and reactive capabilities will dominate on the gridiron.
That’s where L-theanine comes in. It helps with strategic memory and with technical learning. It has been shown to improve the way athletes manage stress when they’re in a high intensity situation.
We recommend taking it every single competitive day. That means Friday nights for high-school players, Saturdays for college and Sunday for the best at the game.
3 & 2. Whey || Casein Protein
We have to remember with football that athletes have to be powerhouses, they have to be strong and they have to be explosive with decent endurance to boot. Come the summer months and adding all that protective equipment the body starts to sweat more to stay cool. Football players are running more, practicing multiple times a day and hitting the weights. Next thing you know the athletes are losing weight in a sport where size matters.
That’s not optimal later on in the season. We have to make sure the lean muscle mass is able to recover from the intensity of practice and games. We need to make sure muscle mass is maintained or even better, improved over time, so the athlete can handle the blunt trauma, improve their agility and put out a ton of power deep in the red zone.
Whey and Casein help maintain lean muscle mass, help keep the joints healthy and help keep the athlete’s protein intake high when under the physical stress of the sport. We recommend that football athletes try to get at least 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight. Now during two days, we recommend increasing that to 1.25 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
If you happen to have a dairy allergy, switch to a beef protein and utilize collagen as well to help improve recovery.
1. Creatine Monohydrate
Creatine Monohydrate is going to help athletes recruit more motor units faster. That means the body will be able to recruit muscles faster to protect your brain. Protecting the athlete’s grey matter will lead to a lower rate of concussions. That’s important in a contact sport like football.
On top of that, we know creatine helps with cognitive ability and precision striking ability. So on the 100 yards of violence, creatine will help football players cognitive skills late in the game with decision making. On top of that, it will help them maintain more lean muscle mass to be healthier later in the season when trying to succeed in the postseason.
We recommend taking .1 grams per kilo of bodyweight. For anybody over 220 pounds that’s about 10-12 grams of creatine.
There is no denying it, football is a violent game 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. Football is complicated.
But that complication can be made easier by augmenting the body with supplements. Take a daily dose of Beta Alanines, use L-alanines on game day and make sure to get plenty of protein via Whey and Casein to maintain that lean muscle mass throughout the grind of the season. And most importantly, buttress the brain with creatine monohydrate to be quick witted and quick footed on the field.
Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.