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Supplement Second: Why Athletes Should Build a Strong Foundation First

As a Personal Trainer, I often get asked by high school and college athletes about supplements.

  • "Should I take Creatine?"

  • "Which Greens powder do you recommend?

  • "What Pre-Workout brand is the best?"

Whenever I get asked supplement questions like these, I respond by asking the athlete questions to see if they have these three bases covered:


1. Training

2. Nutrition

3. Recovery

Supplements should not be the first base athletes sprint to. It's essential to address the above three bases first. Once we build a strong foundation, then we can consider supplementation usage.


When it comes to the three bases... does the athlete have these in check?

  • Training (a solid understanding of how to train, whether they are following programmed/planned workouts, executing proper techniques, do they push themselves vs. doing the bare minimum)

  • Nutrition (consuming food throughout the day based on workload, understanding total calories should increase as workload increases, eating enough protein and total calories, and keeping up with hydration needs)

  • Recovery (optimizing sleep quality and quantity, physical/mental stress management, taking rest days, and not overtraining)

Here's an ice cream analogy because who doesn't like ice cream?

Training, Nutrition, and Recovery = the creamy, soft-serve ice cream

Supplements = the rainbow sprinkles on top of the ice cream

Get the ice cream recipe right before worrying about adding sprinkles on top.


Build the foundation then worry about adding the final touches.

Strategically choosing supplements can help athletes optimally perform, but they are ineffective and ultimately a waste of money if the 3-part foundation isn't built first.

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