Hydrate, Restore, and Recover with our Guide to All Natural Athletic Support
hether you work out strenuously or have a simple, easy routine, it’s important to consider supporting your body’s recovery from physical activity. Many of us make the mistake of embarking on a new workout program full force and then hobble around for days afterward feeling sore and uninspired to continue exercising. Intentional, all natural athletic support is an excellent way to support yourself and pave the way for consistency in your athletic endeavors.
While the needs of a dancer will vary from those of a runner, whose needs will vary from those of someone training in the martial arts (and so on), there are nonetheless many basics to cover for all natural athletic support: proper hydration, muscle restoration, and recovery, and protection from outdoor elements. Here’s a list we’ve put together with ways to support yourself naturally in your athletic endeavors. Whether you’re prepping your children for a sports season or shopping for yourself, we’ve covered the basics of what you’ll need to work out hydrated and recover with ease.
Hydroflask water bottle ~ A refillable water bottle is a must! Hydroflask’s much loved stainless steel body is designed to keep your beverages at your desired temperature for hours. This is ideal for athletes training outside or active campers since the bottles are vacuum-insulated. These come in a variety of fun colors, and are useful if you’re planning any outdoor activities this summer!
Support hydration with electrolytes ~ Ever felt a bit salty (literally) after a serious sweat session? This is because, along with your sweat, your electrolytes get deposited into your sweat glands. These minerals (such as calcium, potassium, magnesium) help regulate the body’s flow of water in and out of cells, spark nerve impulses, and are incredibly important for heart rhythm. You can easily mix up powdered or liquid electrolytes into your water or take/pack in your kid’s summer camp lunchbox. Capsules or gummy electrolytes are easy to take on on-the-go.
Electrolyte Brands we carry include Ultima electrolyte powders, Trace Mineral Electrolyte Stamina or Endure liquid, and Nutribiotic Electrolyte, which is the chosen electrolyte of our UVA football team. We also carry yummy Bolt Electrolyte chews. Coconut water is a great all-natural drink without artificial ingredients for optimal hydration. Try our favorite, Taste Nirvana Coconut Waters, in a variety of flavors.
Protein shakes and collagen
For extra protein and nutritional support, you may choose to use a Blenderbottle from Rebecca’s to mix up your Non-GMO, Grass-Fed Whey or USDA Organic Plant-Based sport protein shake from Garden of Life to sustain you before or after exercise. Garden of Life says their Sport products refuel and repair muscles and promote faster recovery and they are also NSF Certified for the serious athlete. Garden of Life Sports bars or Bulletproof Collagen bars are great, healthy snacks for your active on-the-go lifestyle. Collagen is the cement holding our bodies together but decreases as we age. Collagen is a well-utilized protein source and gives your body the amino acid building blocks to support joints in addition to skin, nails, and hair. In addition to Collagen Bars, we offer many great collagen powders to add to your protein shakes or just mix with any liquid or yogurt.
Sweat resistant sunscreen ~ Training or playing outdoors? Don’t forget natural zinc-based SPF! While many SPFs are easily lost to sweat, we carry some sweat resistant/waterproof versions for the athletes and outdoors enthusiasts. Try sweat resistant/waterproof brands such as Goddess Garden Sport SPF 50 (which is reef safe for swimmers too) or Alba Sport SPF 45. Don’t forget your lips! We have several SPF lip balms, including Badger Clear Zinc SPF 15. As always, it’s important to go all-natural with SPF. Your skin is your largest organ, protect it, but do so safely!
P.S. A growing number of doctors are prescribing time spent outside as a gateway to health. Consider opting outside for your athletic endeavors when the weather is nice for the combined positive effects of exercise and all that the outdoors has to offer our systems.
Ailments and recovery
Athletes Foot ~ Athletes foot is incredibly common, especially for children, teens, and anyone else who spends time in steamy locker rooms or wears sweaty running shoes. This is yet another health issue you can treat naturally! Athletes Foot is a fungus that can be easily managed with the right creams when applied daily. We carry Forces of Nature Athlete’s Foot roll on (who also make a Nail Fungus remedy) and Nature Care Antifungal Cream. We also recommend washing with a tea tree soap like Defense Soap as a preventative measure.
Sore muscles and joints
Arnica Montana is a homeopathic remedy that helps with soreness, stiffness and bruising. We have it available for topical or internal use by Boiron Homeopathics. The gel or thicker cream can reduce swelling and decrease pain, perfect for recovery and also for those with arthritis who are working out through the pain! Internal Arnica pellets are taken sublingually as additional support for recovery. Another option is Oregon’s Wild Harvest Muscle Relax capsules. Mind you, this formula will make you sleepy, but definitely helps with pain from overused muscles!
CBD is another great option for muscle relaxation and recovery. Read more about CBD and its wondrous effects here! We carry many brands of CBD for many purposes. For athletic recovery, we’re fans of Garden of Life CBD with Turmeric for a double whammy of CBD and turmeric’s anti-inflammatory properties. Another brand, Hempceutix, makes a Relief CBD capsule that packs an anti-inflammatory punch. Vital Body CBD Epsom Soak is another great option for a post-workout soak that combines the benefits of a salt bath with CBD’s soothing effects.
Turmeric is another great option for recovery, especially for inflammation. Try Rebecca’s brand Turmeric with black pepper extract caps, Terry Naturally Curamed (high potency curcumin) or Curamin (curcumin with Boswellia, DLPA, and natto)for pain relief instead of NSAIDs.
Soak and soap for muscle recovery ~ Give your body a soak after an intense workout so your muscles can relax and restore. We’re big fans of magnesium bath salts (check out our blog post on salt for a deep dive into its benefits). Great options include the aforementioned vital Body CBD Epsom Soak, magnesium bath salts from Ancient Minerals or MG12, and Olbas Herbal Bath. If you don’t have time for a bath, try LifeFlo’s Magnesium soap or topical magnesium creams, gels, sprays or roll-ons. You can save time while getting the pain-relief and benefits of magnesium!
In a follow-up post, we’ll talk more about supplementation and dietary support for exercise and effective recovery from exercise with a blog by our Store Co-Manager, Bill, who is a 3 Stripe Brown Belt in Brazilian Jujitsu. Come see us at Rebecca’s for all of your athletic support needs!