When you’re trying to get to the top of your game as an athlete, it’s important to have things handy to help keep you on the right track.
Yes, being fit and healthy is very much a mental game as much as it is physical, so I like to have a few essentials that I can refer back to time and time again which allow me to be much better at keeping my mind going as fast as my body does.
Here are 8 things every athlete should try out.
Pushing my body to its limits can have some drawbacks. Experiencing fatigue is very difficult to deal with when you’re so focused on achieving your goals, so sometimes, I do need a little pick-me-up.
Protein coffee from Complete Nutrition is the ultimate body and brain-boosting beverage.
I like to drink the iced coffee flavor every day for my pre-workout as not only does it keep me energized throughout the day, but the protein makes sure my muscles are nourished and recover better.
Every athlete knows they need to keep on top of their protein intake, so this drink is also great for days when my macro count is a little low and I need something quick.
This blend has an impressive 15 grams of protein per serving, yet just 80 calories.
There’s nothing more frustrating than having sore muscles on a day when I really want to get to the gym and get a good workout in.
The first time I discovered foam rollers was so life-changing that and I actually went out and bought my own immediately.
Many gyms stock these for athletes to roll out on to relieve tense and achy muscles, but I find it’s always better (and more hygienic) to have my own.
This cheap yet effective foam roller from PhysioRoom has a hard, hollow core which means it will also maintain its shape and be better at its job than the older ones you find in the gym.
Reusable water bottle
I don’t know about you, but I go through a hell of a lot of water in a day. Whether it’s time for my morning chug, during a workout, post-workout or mealtimes, I always have a bottle of water by my side.
A few months ago, however, I realized that although drinking so much water was fantastic for my health, I was using so much plastic.
That’s why I decided to switch to a Kool8 water bottle.
Not only is this reusable bottle better for the environment, but it also keeps my water cool for up to 24 hours.
Plus, if I want to drink tea from my bottle, I can! Kool8 products keep hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours.
The stainless steel, modern design is really cool and comes in a variety of colors too.
This product is so good that it actually made it onto Cool Things Chicago’s list of best water bottles for hiking in 2019.
Melissa Thompson from the Baltimore Express said: “Kool8 is a real game-changer for me. I was worried that I would have to carry around some ugly bulky water bottle in order to find a product that I trust not to break or spill. But, Kool8 can do it all and still look great with a sleek, modern design and cool colors.”
I know that any old earphones simply do not do the job when I’m working out.
Whether I’m on a run, boxing, lifting at the gym or even just going for a leisurely bike ride, having a long earphone wire in the way really isn’t ideal.
Discovering these SoundSport Wireless Headphones from Bose was amazing. They’re wireless, stay put in my ears no matter what, and have outstanding sound quality that I simply am yet to find anywhere else.
Although a little pricey, these earphones really are a gamechanger when it comes to getting in a high paced workout to my favorite Spotify playlist.
An at-home celiac disease test kit
Now, this product is a little different from the others I’ve told you about so far.
As much as bring an athlete is all about the workouts, I also know it’s very important to keep on top of nutrition and what’s going on in my body.
We all have stomach flare-ups that we could most likely avoid by tuning into our bodies a little more.
This is where this at-home celiac disease tester kit comes in.
We all assume that we have some kind of intelorance every now and again, probably me more than others.
This test uses results from just a small finger prick to test for one of the most underdiagnosed diseases in the world.
If you’re suffering from regular bloating, weight loss without trying, cramps, or other digestion issues, then it may be time to give this a go.
So far we’ve talked through aids for both exercise and food. And now, the third most important component of being at the top of my game: sleep.
I started using earplugs around a year back after struggling to get my 8 hours throughout the night.
Because I wasn’t sleeping enough, my workouts were only done at half-effort and my muscles were taking much longer to recover than they should have been.
Wearing earplugs every night completely changed things for me. I was suddenly much more energized and productive throughout the day, and found that my body was actually listening to me.
Whether you have a snoring partner or live on a street with busy traffic, earplugs could definitely help you just as much as they helped me.
Companies such as Earjobs actually provide earplug subscriptions, too, so you’re never caught short.
I love a comfy yet sporty jacket that I can throw over the top of any workout gear while I warm up.
Not only are these jackets great for training outside, but they’re also handy to have around to throw on while heading to the gym, too.
Personally, I like something with a half zip that is stylish but also very easy and quick to get on and off.
This one from Nike is great as it goes with absolutely anything and is made or breathable yet sweat-wicking fabric.
No matter the weather, I really do think that every athlete should have a versatile warm up jacket in their wardrobe.
Once again, this one is a little different from the norm but is very important for the mental side of things.
I purchased a Twinkle in Time Star Map so that whenever I’m feeling low about my progress, I can see how far I’ve come.
On the website, you are asked to choose a certain special date. I chose the first day I decided to give up the junk and start on my journey to health.
Twinkle in Time then produces a framed picture of exactly how the stars were aligned on that day.
Now, when I’m feeling like I’m not getting any stronger or physically fitter, I take a look at this poster hanging on my wall.
Not only does it motivate me, but it reminds me of my journey and exactly why I shouldn’t quit.