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One of my very first articles on this Blog was the Top 5 supplements to take (or top 3 if you are on a budget).
But what about natural wholesome food as supplements?
I agree, in a perfect world, everything you need for your body is at the grocery store. Jeremy Wariner doesn’t take supplements, and neither does Usain Bolt with the exception of Vitamin C.
Here are my natural wholesome food choices as supplements that I personally take.
Easy Simple Whole Food #1: Chocolate Milk
When I was in College, we had to take 2 subway trains to get to the Centre Claude-Robillard indoor facility in Montreal. On the way back, we had to transfer trains, so we stopped by the convenience-store kiosk, and bought a pint-size (500ml) of Chocolate Milk. Ask any of my teammates… this is a true story.
Little did I know at the time that it had an ideal 3.3:1 Carbs to Protein ratio. At 340 “Food Calories” (or Kcal, to be precise), this held me over until I had time to get home, shower, and cook dinner. If you wanted to control your fat intake, you could always buy the low fat version over my preferred 2% type of milk, just because it tasted better. (Have you ever tried protein powder with only water?)
Milk protein is roughly 20% whey and 80% casein. Click here for more information comparing Whey, Soy, Casein protein, vs real Fish, Beef, Milk, Chicken and Eggs.
Depending on your brand of Chocolate Milk, as it varies by state and by country, it has an even mix of lactose and sucrose in the form of either sucrose or high-fructose corn syrup. I am sure it is the chocolate syrup and sucrose that makes it taste so yummy!
The best thing about Chocolate Milk is the cost. It is cheaper than any protein or post-recovery drink out there! Even at over priced subway kiosks!
Today, you can always buy protein powder and mix it with water at the track. But if you have access to cold chocolate milk, that will always be my preference. And this article isn’t a shameless promotion for milk.
Easy Simple Whole Food #2: Tart Cherry Juice
Leading food researchers have confirmed that cherries, specifically tart cherries, are rich in Phyto-Nutrients and powerful antioxidants including natural anti-inflammatories, pain relievers and sleep regulators.
Tart cherry juice have clinically shown to reduce post-exercise muscle damage, inflammation and oxidative stress concurrently, thereby protecting the body and speeding recovery
Each CherryPharm 8oz bottle is made from 50 cherries, and I have to admit, this product tastes amazing for a drink to help with PREVENTION and RECOVERY.
It is NOT intended to be an energy drink or take the place of other hydration drinks. They recommended users drink two 8 oz. (250ml) servings of CherryPharm each day but NOT during exercise or strenuous activity.
At $2 per bottle, this is very reasonable considering the price of gourmet soft drinks out there.
SpeedEndurance.com readers can get 5% off using the CherryPharm coupon code 400M.
Easy Simple Whole Food #3: Green Tea
Green Tea gets as a bad rap because of all the SPAM email abuse, next to the Acia Berry weight loss, colon cleanses, Rolex watches, Penny stocks, and Earn your degree at home junk mails!
You can check out the Jennifer Aniston ad and see what I mean.
But I am a coffee and tea drinker, and I like the taste of both beverages.
Being Asian, I know a lot about teas and shark fin soup. I grew up drinking oolong tea at every meal and now I only drink it when I have Asian or Chinese food. But at work, I prefer green tea as a beverage, in particular the Bigelow brand.
Like all three of the major Asian teas in the market (black tea, oolong tea, and green tea), green tea comes from the plant called Carmellia sinensis. The health benefits of green tea stems from the processing. Compared to black and oolong tea which undergoes full oxidization, green tea is only gently steamed, preserving the natural antioxidants in its original form.
The presence of naturally occurring polyphenols is what gives the antioxidant properties in Chinese green tea. These antioxidants is said to combat harmful free radicals in your body and free from diseases.
As well, the high amounts of polyphenols gives Chinese green tea a stimulating effect on the immune system.
For more information on the magic of Green Tea, here is a 25 page report on Grean Tea and weight loss. (PDF)
Disclaimer: I drink green tea because I like the taste and its potential anti-oxidant properties, NOT to lose weight!
Easy Simple Whole Food #4: Beef Jerky
A typical 1 ounce (30 grams) portion of beef jerky contains 10-15 g of protein, 1 g of fat, and anywhere from 0-4 g of carbohydrates depending on the seasoning.
A 3 oz (~100 grams) steak is plenty of protein for the human body. Imagine the excess in a 8 oz Rib-eye, a 12 oz Sirloin strip, or a 24 ounce Porterhouse! (Yeah, but what a meal!)
A single 1 oz. (28g) serving size of Jerky.com’s Beef Jerky is only 73 calories, 12 grams of Protein, 4g Carbs, and 1g fat. Plus, there is 410mg of sodium and has 8% of your RDA of Iron. In addition to using Grass Fed Beef, there are No Preservatives, No Added MSG, and No Nitrites.
Beef Jerky is great if you want to satisfy your teeth after a workout. Most athletes are generally thirsty, and that’s where a protein drink or chocolate milk may come in handy.
They also make Pineapple Jerky for those with a sweet tooth or want instant carbs.
SpeedEndurance.com readers can get 10% off using the coupon code SPEEDENDURANCE.