Sports Supplements for athletes
Athletes and sportspersons need extra nutrients and supplements on the top up a balanced diet. Different athletes have different needs and accordingly their coaches and nutritionists advise them on their customized diet.The supplements can help them enhance their muscle mass, endurance, strength and ability to train for longer hours to achieve their goals. Supplements can be divided into three major categories depending on their time of consumption.
- Pre-workout supplements
- Intra-workout supplements and
- Post-workout supplements
The supplements which are taken before the beginning of the exercise or sports activity are called pre-workout supplements. The aim of taking such supplements is to get a boost of energy to start the workout sessions with full force. There are numerous pre-workout products available in the market claiming to enhance muscle power, energy and endurance, with a mystery blend of ingredients, though there are not enough scientific research that have been conducted to support these claims.
The preworkout supplements could either be individual compounds of powders such as caffeine, guarana or creatine or, they could be a mix of these supplements in a particular percentage.
Depending on the type of exercise and body metabolism type nutritionists advise specific type of pre-workout supplements for athletes. Different ingredients found in a pre workout supplements have different roles in enhancing the specific abilities of the individual.
Some well known pre-workout supplements
- Creatine is a very well known dietary supplement for the athletes. Creatine is also found in the cells of the body, which form the Adenosine Triphosphate which in turn help in generating energy in the body. Its a popular sports supplement as it creates energy and power in the muscles for quick bursts of energy and fires up the athletes for the workouts.
- Caffeine : Caffeine is a substance that is found in the coffee beans or tea leaves that activates certain part of the brain. It helps in increasing alertness and makes the individuals consuming it, feel less tired.
- Beta Alanine : Beta Alanine helps fighting muscle fatigue. Its an amino acid, that helps fighting the build up of acid in the body. It can be consumed during intense exercises of one to four minutes.
- Citrulline: It a naturally produced amino acid in the body. However taking ti from external sources improves its level in the body. It helps in increasing blood flow to the muscle tissues. This it can help in weight training and endurance.
- Branched chain amino acids : Commonly known and addressed by the acronym BCAA contain three major amino acids such as isoleucine. Leucine and valine. These BCAAs are found mostly in meat and animal protein sources. Consuming BCAAs help in endurance building, reducing physical and mental fatigue, and help in the recovery phase as well.
- Nitrates : These are mostly found in vegetable such as spinach turnips and beetroots. The consumption helps in blood flow.
Though a lot of claims have been made about the effectiveness of the pre-workout supplements, the exact effectiveness can not be generalized. When an athlete decides to take it, professional advice must be taken from experts.