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Men, Step Up Your Game with Nutritional Supplements: Dr. Alisa Cooper describes how specific supplements can improve health, performance, and more.

May 31, 2012 09:30PM ● By Dr. Alisa Cooper, DC

In addition to rigorous training and a healthy diet, specific supplements can further improve health, performance and recovery time for men. Glutamine, naturally produced by the body, can become depleted when an athlete is stressed or injured. Supplementation contributes to strength and performance gains. The branched chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine work together synergistically, to promote muscle recovery, nitrogen balance and tissue repair.

Glucosamine, an amino sugar, supports connective tissue and strengthens the joints. It is best taken with methyl sulfonylmethane, which also supports the joints and helps relieve pain, inflammation and cramping.

A multivitamin/mineral is a necessity. Plus, taking additional Vitamin C and B complex vitamins supports immunity, nervous system function, collagen health and energy production.

Creatine naturally boosts strength and increases muscle mass. It not only makes the individual stronger, but allows them to work out intensely for longer. Creatine is safe and effective when used as directed.

Electrolytes such as sodium, chloride, magnesium, calcium and potassium are required for the heart, nerves and muscles to function properly. Lost through sweating, electrolytes need to be replaced during intense physical activity, in the heat or when exertion is prolonged.

Probiotics are vital for health and immunity. Taking supplemental probiotics ensures the gut a normal flora of healthy microorganisms to help prevent infections and allergic reactions.

Omega-3 fatty acids cannot be synthesized by the body; they have to be ingested through food or as a supplement. They have been shown to reduce inflammation, soothe tender joints and relieve stiffness.

Ribose is a natural molecule the body uses to produce energy, or ATP. It speeds tissue healing and is safely tolerated by the body. Many athletes attest that nothing brings them back from exhaustion quite like ribose.

Supplements can give one a competitive edge, but they need to be intelligently coordinated with optimal training and a healthy diet.

Alisa Cooper, DC, CCN, is a chiropractor, nutritionist and EFT practitioner. For more information, call 480-699-9735, email [email protected] or visit