One of the most overlooked components of nutrition – especially during the summer months – is what you put into your body during your workouts!
I’m sure every athlete or coach has experienced what it’s like to eat “healthy” throughout the day, only to fade during the middle or end of a tough summer workout in the heat. This is an area that we have spent much more time researching over the past couple years and now I’m going to share what has worked best with our athletes. Please note that – due to the nature of this blog – I will only be giving you ‘general’ recommendations due to the fact that every athlete has different goals, body chemistry, etc. It would be impossible for me to give recommendations for every athlete, every different goal, etc. So I’ve decided to provide my readers with the “Elite 3” list of pre/during workout nutrition that has worked for the “masses” at our facility.
I have to give my friend and colleague, Jason Ferruggia, credit for this one. Although I had read a little bit about coconut water, I never really thought much about it. But, around a year ago, Jason emailed me and he was raving about the hydrating and “anti-cramping” effects that coconut water was having on him, as well as his clients. After hearing from Jason, I decided to do more research and experiment with some of my best athletes. The rest, as they say, is history…
As far as I’m concerned, coconut water should be the new “Gatorade” to this generation of athletes. It just may be nature’s most perfect, natural “sports drink”. It is PACKED with the five essential electrolytes. In fact, it provides about 15 times the amount of electrolytes as the “leading” sports drinks; it even has more potassium than a banana! It also has lower acidity (4.8pH) than all other “sports” drinks and most juices. (Low “acid” levels are imperative for all athletes looking to improve their endurance and cut down on inflammation in their body.)
Throw in the fact that it doesn’t have any artificial sweeteners or added sugar and – if you ask me – that’s one helluva workout drink! Please note that, although I’m calling coconut water a “workout drink”, it is not a “supplement”, so it doesn’t have to be “cycled”. I would categorize coconut water as a “foundational” drink that can remain as a steady part of your diet throughout the year.
You may also be interested in knowing that the first two “guinea pigs” that I really pushed coconut water on (last year), still drink it to this day…and they swear by it! These two athletes drank coconut water (instead of the “leading” sports drink) throughout training camp last summer. Both of them reported back to me daily and told me that they felt hydrated and didn’t cramp at all during two-a-days in the brutal heat of training camp. Both of these athletes continued to use coconut water during practices and games throughout the football season with great success. Although I don’t want to “expose” these two athletes because they aren’t getting paid to promote this product (although I think they should), I will tell you that they both were drafted in the 1st round of this year’s NFL Draft J
The secret is out…if you’re a serious athlete; replacing your current sports drink (aka, sugar water) with coconut water just may be the best thing you can do this summer!
Coconut water is now readily available at most supermarkets, so there’s no excuse!
Now that I have revealed my favorite “foundational” drink for athletes (especially when training in the heat); I will now tell you my two favorite “supplements” for your summer training. The two supplements that I’m referring to are Endura by Metagenics and Surge Workout Fuel by Biotest.
Neither of these supplements seems to be as popular as the “N.O.” products that are advertised on every single page of every single bodybuilding magazine; but, they will both provide much better long term results and training longevity. What I mean by this is, although most popular “N.O.” products give you a nice caffeine “buzz” and “pump”, they also contribute to cramping, crashing, and puking; these are three things that athletes DON’T want to happen during their intense summer workouts! Save the “pump products” for the bodybuilders and fitness fruits; if you’re an athlete that’s after performance, stick with my recommendations! The products that I have listed above will help you train longer, harder and they keep you hydrated which will help prevent cramping!
Athletes shouldn’t mimick this guy’s supplementation program
*If you happen to be a stimulant junkie (like me), here’s a secret concoction that will give you a nice kick in the ass during your workout; try mixing 2 scoops of Endura OR 2 scoops of Surge Workout Fuel with a can of sugar-free Red Bull and 8-10 oz. of water…this works like a charm!!
Some of our more “extreme” athletes swear by this concoction. Even though I’m cautious of recommending caffeine during the summer months (because of dehydration), the super-hydrating effects of Surge Workout Fuel and/or Endura seem to “outweigh” the potential dehydrating effects of the caffeine in the Red Bull. Basically, this concoction provides you with the “best of both worlds”…you get the caffeine “buzz”, while staying hydrated…and it tastes great!!
NOTE: If you’re now confused as to which one of these products you should use, here’s what I suggest…try them all! As I’ve stated many times before, I strongly suggest that athlete’s cycle their supplements (just like we cycle our exercises every couple weeks during our workouts). I feel that your body responds the best to supplements if you never let it get too “accustomed” to any one product. Trying different products is also the only way to become “in tune” with your body and see what works best for you.
So there you have it…Joe D’s guide to a healthy and eXpLoSiVe summer of training! And FYI, I am in no way, shape, or form, affiliated with any of the products that I’ve listed above. I wrote about them because I believe in them and I know they work. I have no financial interest in any of those products…
With that being said, if there are any representatives from Coconut Water, Metagenics or Biotest that would like to talk about some kind of sponsorship for my facility and/or our athletes, I’m more than willing to listen HA! J
Speaking of the summer, stay tuned as we will be offering our wildly popular camo tees on this site for the first time ever! For the past six years, we have reserved these tees for only athletes that train at our facility…no exceptions! But, we have a very limited supply that will go on sale for our online readers during one of my upcoming blog posts. So keep checking back so you don’t miss out; because once they’re gone, they’re gone…”F-U”!