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Supplements to Help Thrive and Survive in Roller Derby and Other Tough Sports

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

In May of 2022 my daughter came to town to play in a roller derby bout and brought her team to stay in my house. I was so impressed by this group of fierce but kind and inclusive people that I was inspired to join a local roller derby league myself...at age 52.

I had been a runner for much of my life and loved skating as a kid, so I thought I would flow right into derby with moderate effort. I was somewhat right about that (don't ask how long it took me to get transitions down!). Mostly I notice that I don't recover from the tough (but FUN!) practices as easily as I recovered from rigorous workouts in my 20's or even 30's, and so I began using targeted supplements to help with muscle recovery, inflammation and bruising (derby kisses!).

A natural side effect of intense exercise is the production of cortisol in the body. While cortisol is necessary for certain functions in the body, too much of it can harm the gut. The gut is where health begins or ends, so it's extra important to protect it.

A post about derby wouldn't be complete without mentioning post-concussion care. I have experienced the healing power of targeted supplements post-concussion, after bouncing my head off the concrete at practice one night. Unfortunately concussion (which is a mild TBI - traumatic brain injury) is not uncommon in derby. Fortunately, there are supplements backed up by science that do help.

Below I'll share what has helped me and provide a link to discounts on professional grade supplements for those who want to up their game and improve recovery. As always, consult with your licensed health care provider before beginning or changing your supplement program.

(To access each supplement link, create an account on my FullScript supplement dispensary, sign in and then click the links)

Boost / endurance:

Thorne - Catalyte Lemon Lime NSF (Electrolytes and supportive nutrients)


Thorne - Catalyte Lemon Lime NSF (Electrolytes and supportive nutrients)


Concussion Care:

Lion’s Mane and Neuronal Health

“The studies done by many researchers as well as on-going studies show that selected mushrooms do have neurotrophic properties that can be beneficial to humans. Regular consumption may promote nerve and brain health. This is particularly useful during injury (as in an accidents) or as we age. Further, there is a need to study the potential mushrooms to elucidate their mechanisms of activities as well as clinical trials. This far, only H. erinaceus has been extensively studied. The identification of more varieties of mushroom with these unique properties may contribute to identifying novel chemical agents that can have preventative or therapeutic functions.”

Berberine protects against neuronal damage via suppression of glia-mediated inflammation in traumatic brain injury

The More, the Better: High-Dose Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Behavioural and Molecular Outcomes in Preclinical Models in Mild Brain Injury

“Results showed that preclinical doses of 10-370 mg/kg/day of n-3FA per day in rodents (equivalent to high clinical doses) resulted in improvements in neurological and cognitive performance (pooled effect sizes ranging between 1.52 and 3.55). Similarly, improvements in molecular and inflammatory markers were observed in treated rodents vs control (pooled effect sizes: 3.73-6.55). Overall, these findings highlight the potential for high-dose n-3FA for human clinical studies following mTBI.”

BrainMD - Lithium Orotate (NOT Rx lithium; this is natural elemental lithium)

A New Avenue for Lithium: Intervention in Traumatic Brain Injury

"In summary, recent preliminary data using lithium have demonstrated robust beneficial effects in experimental models of TBI. These include decreases in TBI-induced brain lesion, suppression of neuroinflammation, protection against blood-brain barrier disruption, normalization of behavioral deficits, and improvement of learning and memory, among others."

Quicksilver - H2 Elite (hydrogen water tabs)

Molecular Hydrogen in Drinking Water Protects against Neurodegenerative Changes Induced by Traumatic Brain Injury

“We found that mHW reversed CCI-induced edema by about half, completely blocked pathological tau expression, accentuated an early increase seen in several cytokines but attenuated that increase by day 7, reversed changes seen in the protein levels of aquaporin-4, HIF-1, MMP-2, and MMP-9, but not for amyloid beta peptide 1–40 or 1–42. Treatment with mHW also reversed the increase seen 4 h after CCI in gene expression related to oxidation/carbohydrate metabolism, cytokine release, leukocyte or cell migration, cytokine transport, ATP and nucleotide binding. Finally, we found that mHW preserved or increased ATP levels and propose a new mechanism for mHW, that of ATP production through the Jagendorf reaction. These results show that molecular hydrogen given in drinking water reverses many of the sequelae of CCI and suggests that it could be an easily administered, highly effective treatment for TBI.”

"Gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) is a major calming brain chemical or neurotransmitter.* Clinical studies show that the natural form of GABA that is in Thorne's PharmaGABA can decrease the brain's stress-related beta waves and increase the production of its alpha-waves, creating a profound sense of physical relaxation while maintaining mental focus.* Other studies have shown reduced pupil diameter, heart rate, and two natural biomarkers of stress – salivary cortisol and chromogranin A – all signs of relaxation.* In addition, studies also indicate GABA can enhance sleep.* In a head-to-head, double-blind trial of natural PharmaGABA versus synthetic GABA, the synthetic GABA did not demonstrate these positive effects.* PharmaGABA-250 offers 250 mg of natural GABA per capsule, while PharmaGABA-100 offers 100 mg per capsule. Both are non-habit forming."

Reach out if you have any questions!

Jam on,


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