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Nourishing Knowledge: Sports supplements

Last Modified: June 13, 2024

Nutrition & Recipes, Sports & Exercise


If you’re an active person or an athlete, it can be difficult to navigate the broad supplement offerings, each promising to aid in recovery, performance or muscle growth. Sami Main, MA, RD, CD, sports dietitian, Parkview Sports Medicine, offers her recommendations for choosing the safest and most beneficial products for the active population.

When weighing the best products for you, consider your goals, needs, and position or sport. All of these factors contribute to your unique supplement needs.  

Common recommendations

There are two supplements that I recommend religiously: whey and creatine.


Whey is found in protein powders, premade shakes and bars. It can be great for filling gaps in protein intake, especially if you’re an athlete who doesn't really like meat, beans, eggs or cheese. It can also be handy when you're on the road and need something that is easy to grab.

Read more about protein powders in your diet here.


Creatine’s job is to pull nutrients from the bloodstream and take them to the muscles to fix those little tears we make during exercise. This, in turn, helps us build more muscle.

Creatine should be taken 365 days a year, 5g a day. It doesn't need a loading phase, but it does require taking in extra fluid. This supplement is ideal for athletes who are well hydrated, over the age of 16 and nailing their nutrition.

sports supplements

Supplement safety

Make sure you choose a third-party tested supplement, which means that a company other than the company producing the supplement has tested it to ensure that it only contains what it says it contains in the amounts it states.

Athletes can be precluded or left out of their sport if they take a supplement with something in it that is banned. So, you want to ensure that you choose a supplement approved by Informed Choice or NSF. Look for a symbol indicating it was tested or, when in doubt, check the product’s website or ask your sports dietitian.

If you want to learn more about how Parkview Sports Medicine can support your goals through nutrition, contact us at 260-266-4007 for more information or to schedule a consultation.

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