Purely Supplemental

by: Justin diFeliciantonio | January 20, 2013

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Experts agree that food, when part of a well-balanced diet, provides superior nourishment to the body than any bar, gel, or supplement can; food is rich and complicated, and contains a variety of known (and unknown) compounds that encourage healthful living. Nevertheless, athletes open to supplementing their diets with additional synthetic nutrients might consider the following products, which claim to increase stamina, strength, and flexibility.
 (A cautionary note: Consult your doctor before taking any nutritional supplement. Some compounds are contraindicated for certain diseases, and may even interfere with medications. Note, also, that statements made by supplement manufacturers have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, and so should be approached carefully.)


MSRP: $21 (12-bar box)
Web: clifbar.com

To sustain optimal muscle performance, your body needs protein. That’s the idea behind Clif Builder’s Bars. Containing 20 grams of protein, in addition to a potpourri of essential vitamins, minerals, and carbohydrates, Clif says its Builder’s Bars offer a nutritious, convenient way to replenish muscle stores after a strenuous workout. Plus, unlike so many others, which can taste chalky, Builder’s go down smooth and easy. For the health conscious: The bars are vegan-friendly, and are free of trans fats, hydrogenated oils, GMOs, and artificial sweeteners and preservatives.


MSRP: $11.60 (box of 8 packet); $34.80 (box of 24 packets)
Web: guenergy.com

Tennis is first and foremost an endurance sport; without right in-competition nutrition, feet can slow and shots can break down. Enter GU Energy Gel, a mix of easily-digestible carbohydrates, amino acids, vitamins, and electrolytes. (Select flavors also include caffeine.) According to the company, when consumed with fluids 15 minutes before play, and then every 45 minutes thereafter, GU provides enough long-lasting energy to keep your body performing at its peak.


MSRP: $5.99 (ready to drink 6-pack, 20 oz. bottles); $15.99 (easy shot, 8 oz. bottle); $21.99 (drink mix, 30 packets)
Web: jointjuice.com

Originally developed by San Francisco-based orthopedic surgeon Kevin Stone, Joint Juice is a nutraceutical beverage formulated (for the pill adverse) to help maintain joint flexibility. More specifically, Joint Juice contains glucosamine hydrochloride and chondroitin sulfate, two supplements that, according to the company, play an important role in tendon, ligament, and cartilage health. The beverage is available in a variety of forms: ready-to-drink bottles, concentrated liquid shots, and mix packets.


MSRP: $28.95 (60 ct.)
Web: nordicnaturals.com

Tennis players, due to the sport’s repetitive, high-impact nature, are particularly vulnerable to inflammatory processes; if left unchecked, joint and cardiovascular health can deteriorate. To curb inflammation, Nordic Naturals recommends its Ultimate Omega-D3s, which provide, per two softgels, 1100mg of omega-3 fatty acids. Nordic Naturals claims that its omega-3s are purer and more effective than other products on the market; every batch of oil, they say, is third-party tested, surpasses strict international standards, and retains its naturally-occurring, triglyceride form.


MSRP: Contact your doctor or physical trainer for pricing information.
Web: pureencapsulations.com

For serious athletes looking for a broad-spectrum multi-vitamin, there’s Athletic Nutrients by Pure Encapsulations. The supplement contains a number of bioavailable vitamins, minerals, and antioxidant compounds, as well as essential amino acids and creatine, among other complexes. Ultimately, the company says this blend supports energy, cardiovascular health, and muscle endurance. Additionally, Athletic Nutrients is hypoallergenic, and is encapsulated in a FDA-inspected facility that operates according to strict manufacturing standards. To date, Pure Encapsulations products are involved in nine clinical studies, conducted at research institutions such as Stanford University and the Mayo Clinic.

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