Nothing feels as good as breaking through your own fitness barriers, running further and lifting heavier weights. We’re addicted to the endorphin-fueled high we get when we’re sweating bullets. Any athlete wants to excel and, more often than not, the best of them get a little help – from dietary supplements. Here’s a summary of what these products are, the types of dietary supplements available, and the best supplements to take for athletic performance.
What Are Supplements?
Know someone that’s on a multi-vitamin? Perhaps you like to grab an energy drink on the way home from work? Both of these can be classified as dietary supplements. These are things we eat or drink that offer our bodies advantages, other than the advantages of eating three solid meals a day.
Sports supplements are performance-enhancing compounds crafted specifically for sports athletes. These include protein powders for muscular repair, joint and bone support supplements, electrolyte-rich drinks and energy supplements to name a few. Let’s take a look at a few types of supplements available.
Some Types of Supplements
There are a number of different types of sports supplements available for building muscle, boosting energy and losing weight. We’ve listed some of the more popular supplements, that athletes prefer, below:
These are arguably the most important dietary supplements for boosted athletic performance. They focus primarily on the muscular system, and offer a range of performance benefits:
- Whey protein – supports the development of lean body mass
- Casein protein – slow release of protein; found in meal replacements
- Egg white protein – over 40 proteins; ideal for lactose intolerant athletes
Amino Acid Support
Amino acids support protein synthesis and building of muscle. Thus, they’re often taken along with protein supplements. Here are a few types and their benefits:
- BCAAs – greatly reduce muscle soreness
- Glutamine – improve immunity and nitrogen balance
- Taurine – important for peak metabolic function
These supplements help you when you need them most – while you’re exercising. Get stronger, faster and reduce downtime in between workouts with these dietary supplements:
- Creatine – for overall power and strength gain
- Beta-Alanine – reduces fatigue and lactic acid build-up
- D-Ribose – energy fuel for workouts of high intensity
Best Supplements for Athletic Performance
The British Dietetic Association’s Sport and Exercise Nutrition Register shares that “when used effectively and safely, some supplements may contribute towards improvements in health and/or performance for some athletes.” These are some of the best sports supplements for endurance and strength athletes:
- Sodium Phosphate
Improves red blood cells’ ability to deliver oxygen to active muscles, increasing time to exhaustion and increasing aerobic capacity.
Provides an almost immediate energy boost so ideal for early morning runs. Reduces perception of effort and assists with delaying fatigue.
- Creatine Monohydrate
Decreases recovery time during repeat interval training and increases power output levels at lactate threshold.
- Whey Protein
Ideally taken after resistance training sessions. Best type of protein for muscle mass and overall strength gains.
- Creatine Monohydrate
Allows for more reps until exhaustion and improves power gains astronomically! Drink water regularly if you’re on this supplement.
- Amino Acids
Aids in speeding up recovery times between training sessions and reduces muscle soreness. These promote protein synthesis and assist in suppressing protein degradation.
So, if you’re an athlete or want to see better results from your gym workouts why not try one of the above-mentioned supplements? If you’re not sure about which one to take, have a chat to one of the personal trainers at the gym or a nutritionist who will guide you.
Trifocus Fitness Academy, the leading sports and fitness education college, offers the Athletic Nutrition Course. This is a great course which teaches people about the ins and outs of athletic nutrition and will give them a better idea of how to advise athletes on the best nutrition for them to enhance their performance. For more information on this course, as well as to check out our other course offering, visit our website.