Spring Break Supplementation

You’re almost all done packing for spring break.  Lets do a quick recap to make sure you have everything:

Sunscreen: check.

Bathing suit: check.

Clean underwear: check.

Fresh tank tops: check.

Supplements.  Supplements?  You cannot forget to pack your supps!

No matter where you are in the world, it is always beneficial to stay on your current supplement regiment.  This will keep you on track to achieve your goals and mitigate any negative effects of being away from home and off your regular diet.  Staying on proper supplementation will prevent any negative shifts in your hormone levels that could wreak havoc on your physique.

Here are three supplements you should make room for in your luggage:

Multivitamin

A multivitamin is essential for everyone from field athletes to desk jockeys.  I like to think of a multivitamin as an insurance policy.  A daily multivitamin is there to fill any micronutrient gaps you may have in your diet.  On one day you may not be deficient with any micronutrient, yet the next day you may change one meal and have deficiencies a multivitamin would fill.  The price of a one-a-day multivitamin is so low it is always beneficial to have one in your supplement stack.

Being on vacation and away from your usual daily meals will likely leave your body desiring more nutrients.  Being on the run and grabbing quick meals from healthier places such as Chipotle (stay tuned for a brand new article from Prady discussing eating at Chipotle) will only take you so far.  Since your body is unable to make these vitamins and minerals on it’s own, you must make sure you take at least one multivitamin a day.

Fish Oils

No matter what your goals are, fish oils, specifically Omega-3 oils, are always useful.  Omega-3 fatty acids are found in plant sources and oily fish such as salmon, sardines, tuna, and trout.  Every time you pick up a scientific publication there is a new study that has found an additional health benefit of Omega-3 fatty acids.  Fish oils have been shown to improve everything from protecting from vision loss to post-partum depression.  For us athletes some of the greatest benefits are the improved brain function, improvement of heart health, weight loss, and reduction of inflammation resulting in joint pain.

Omega-3 is an “essential” fatty acid.  Essential means that the human body can not make this fatty acid itself, so you have to get it through your food intake or supplementation.  A fish oil pill high in Omega-3 will address what is lacking from those vacation meals of burgers, fries, and beers.

Protein Powder

How could anyone possibly leave for vacation without some protein powder?  Protein powder to someone into fitness is like dinosaur fossils to Ross Geller.  Protein powder can be used to fill voids in-between meals or as a meal replacement.  All it requires is some added water and a shake, making it the perfect item to carry with you as you travel.  Each gram of protein is made up of a wide range of amino acids and essential amino acids.  Like Omega-3 fatty acids, the human body cannot make essential amino acids.  That is why a good protein shake is always something you should have within reach.  Whether it is a fast digesting whey protein isolate, which I always recommend, or a slow digesting casein protein, make an opening in your bag and bring it with you.

Tips for Traveling

Obviously carrying your five-pound jug of protein with you on vacation is unreasonable; you would have no room for your three bottles of axe body spray or your two different pairs of Oakley sunglasses.  Here are some tips to make your supplement packing easier:

  • You can put your multivitamin and fish oil capsules in a daily pill dispenser to keep organized and avoid forgetting what pills to take and when.
  • If you do not have a daily pill dispenser, put them in a plastic bag. This will save you the room a bottle takes up.
  • Only bring the amount of protein powder you need. Plan out your daily requirements and multiply it by the number of days you will be travelling.  Put this amount of powder in a plastic bag and drop it in your luggage.
  • Another option is to get your protein powder in the single serving packages. By doing this it is easier to bring different flavors and avoid getting bored with each drink.

Now that we have run through the three essential supplements to bring with you on break you should have everything you need.  Spring break does not mean you have to sacrifice your body’s hormone levels.  Along with making the right choices in the bar, make the right choices with what you include in your carry-on!

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