Step into any weight room or clubhouse area in professional baseball and you will most likely find one common thread among them all. It’s not the training equipment, the sound system, or even the white boards with various workout prescriptions on them. No, in fact it is the supplement counter and when you look at this counter, it is a safe bet that it often consists of messy tubs of various powders, funnels, and protein bars strewn out across the space. While this type of set-up may be considered “the norm” in pro baseball, this does not have to be (and probably shouldn’t be) the case at all. In reality we all know that athletes should be consuming most all of their dietary needs through whole foods, but the fact of the matter is that as a strength coach in professional baseball, you WILL be dealing with supplements, and WILL likely be in charge of selecting which supplements you will make available to your players. With that being said, ideally you want to avoid the previously described scenario of a messy supplement counter where countless supplements are available so times for no other reason than “they taste good.” This is avoided by carefully selecting only a handful of products that your players actually will need to help them perform to the best of their ability, because as we know, supplements are there to “supplement” what the athletes get from food. Below are 3 essential supplement options that should be considered for every pro baseball strength coach’s arsenal.
- biPro Protein Powder: With the hectic schedules of pro baseball players that include travel, oddly spaced meals, and multiple lifting sessions per week, protein powders will be beneficial to them. Choosing a whey isolate powder such as biPro will provide all 9 essential amino acids that must be consumed through food. Whey isolates are also the most quickly digested form of protein powder making them perfect for a player after a workout with no immediate access to food or a good source of quality protein between meals. biPro also provides their product in individualized serving size packets that provide 20g of whey protein isolate and are perfect for players to take on the go during travel. Lastly, biPro products contain 6 ingredients or less, are all naturally sweetened (no sugar), and are NSF Certified for Sport®.
- The Right Stuff: We know that hydration is key for pro baseball players. For those playing 140 games or more throughout the summer months, hydration is essential for peak performance and health. The Right Stuff is an electrolyte, liquid concentrate drink additive that helps prevent dehydration, protect the body from overheating, and increase endurance. Originally developed by NASA, this formula uses all natural flavors and citric acid with a small amount of sucralose (non carbohydrate sweetener). It comes in individually portioned packets that players can travel with and add to water as needed. The Right Stuff is also NSF Certified for Sport®.
- Honey Stinger Organic Waffles: Pro baseball players play more games than athletes from any other sport so it’s a good bet that a strength coach should have players in-game supplement needs covered. A great way to do this is to provide a carbohydrate energy source that can be consumed quickly in the dugout. Honey Stinger Organic Waffles are a great option because they contain honey (a natural form of energy and antioxidants) as their main carbohydrate source. Honey contains the natural sugars fructose and glucose which are quickly and easily digested. When consumed during activity, honey helps muscles remained nourished longer through a steady release of energy, ultimately delaying fatigue.
There you have it. These are three supplement options will help players perform at a high level based on the needs required from their sport. So, take the first step towards eliminating the messy supplement counter of needless products and get back to the basics by combining a select few supplements with quality whole foods.
Joseph Miranda, MS, CSCS, RSCC is the minor league strength and conditioning coach for the Cincinnati Reds Southern League affiliate the Pensacola Blue Wahoos in Pensacola, FL.