Sports supplements, often known as ergogenic aids, are products that are intended to improve athletic performance and recuperation. Supplements come in a variety of forms, ranging from classic sports supplements like protein, amino acids, and creatine to more general supplements like vitamins, minerals, herbs, and botanicals (made from roots, leaves, bark, or berries of a plant).
Convenience: While whole foods should naturally form the cornerstone of your diet, in today’s world, everyone appears to be busy than ever, leaving less time to prepare meals. As a result, supplements can be a healthy alternative to commonly unhealthy convenience foods. They can be a quick and easy way to get more calories, protein, or vitamins and minerals. Additionally, when supplements must be consumed soon after exercise, drinking a shake is considerably easier than preparing and eating food.
Supplements have a structure that allows the body to digest and absorb nutrients much faster than regular diet. Following exercise, digestion speed is critical in order to kick-start the healing process and maximize protein synthesis. Free form amino acids, for example, are absorbed the fastest since they do not require digestion and are absorbed directly into the bloodstream.
In addition to the foregoing, supplements enable you to ingest sufficient amounts of various nutrients that would otherwise be difficult to obtain from diet.
Uses of supplements
Individual supplement consumption will vary depending on their amount of physical activity, lifestyle, nutrition, and other factors. Because it is vital for an elite athlete to recover rapidly between sessions in order to sustain performance levels, an elite athlete who trains multiple times a day would invariably need supplements more than an individual who trains once a day. An individual who trains once a week in the evening, on the other hand, may simply require supplements prior to the single training session to boost energy and focus after a long day at work, as well as supplements afterward to kickstart the healing process.
Whey protein is the most readily available type of protein on the market, compared to casein and soya protein. It also has a far higher ability to increase muscle protein synthesis and minimize protein breakdown following exercise. Whey protein has a strong stimulatory impact when compared to other types of protein, which is related to its high leucine concentration and quick digestion rate.
Creatine monohydrate is regarded to be one of the most effective supplements for increasing high-intensity exercise capacity and promoting lean muscle mass gains during training.
This naturally occurring amino acid has great ergogenic potential due to its relationship to carnosine. Carnosine is a dipeptide of beta-alanine and histidine, and is as one of the primary buffering substances available in skeletal muscle. It aides the neutralisation of acid during high-intensity exercise, thus delaying the onset of fatigue.
To the general public, fish oil has been widely marketed for its cardiovascular effects, such as lowering blood pressure. It is now considered to have an essential place in an athlete’s supplement regimen. Fish oil has the ability to reduce inflammation after intense exercise, decrease body fat, and increase protein synthesis.
Amino Acids (BCAAs)
These key amino acids (leucine, isoleucine and valine) enhance protein synthesis and adaptations to training. BCAAs also help to decrease exercise-induced muscle enzyme release, which can often be an indicator of muscle damage – this is achieved by promoting an anti-catabolic hormone profile.