Looking to give your sporting performance a serious edge? Sports nutrition supplements might be just what you’re looking for. However, the world of vitamins and supplements for sport is so vast that you might not know where to begin. There are some supplements that have been backed by research, while others have simply been endorsed by die-hard athletes who swear by them. Take a look at some of the most popular and widely used supplements for taking your performance to the next level.
* Disclaimer: The following recommendations are not to be taken as authorised medical advice. Please always consult with your doctor before taking supplements of any kind.
Protein is on the list of sports nutrition supplements for any athlete. It helps muscles to grow and repair after a workout. If you’re doing intense training, taking a protein supplement can help to repair muscle tissue faster.
2. B Vitamins
Taking Vitamin B supplements won’t fast track your improvements, according to research, but a lack of vitamin B-12 can lead to feelings of tiredness and weakness, which you don’t want to be feeling during training!
3. Iron Sports Nutrition Supplements
Anaemia is a common concern among athletes. Low iron levels can potentially ruin an athelete’s performance due to the feeling of fatigue. Taking iron tablets is one way to combat this and is also an option for athletes who don’t want to eat red meat.
Magnesium converts glycogen into glucose, which is the fuel needed for exercise. It also helps with the metabolism of protein which is essential for muscle rebuilding and recovery.
Sports nutrition supplements like Creatine can increase muscle mass and improve strength when used to aid strength training. Take note that Creatine has not been shown to play an effective role in endurance sports and training and is better suited for high-intensity, intermittment activity (such as weight lifting at the gym).
You might be surprised to see caffeine on the list of sports nutrition supplements but it’s true! Caffeine is a stimulant that has been shown to boost sporting perfomances by allowing athletes to perform for longer periods or at greater output. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should start chugging down endless cups of coffee before a workout, but having a small dose can help!
7. Omega 3
Omega 3 fatty acids are important sports nutrition supplements, as they offer multiple benefits. The Omegas support healthy joints which help with flexibility, and improves muscle protein synthesis, allowing for faster muscle recovery.
8. Vitamin D Sports Nutrition Supplements
Vitamin D, along with Calcium, helps to create and maintain healthy teeth, bones, and (most importantly) muscles. Taking Vitamin D supplements may help athletes retain their muscle mass and reduce the risk of injuries to their bones, such as fractures.
Remember sports nutrition supplements can only enhance your performance, not be a substitute for it. You’ll still need to put in the time and training required to excel if you really want to get ahead in the game. However, your supplements can be the difference between running and sprinting those last few metres.
Always follow the dosage instructions that come with the supplements and speak to your doctor before committing to any supplements.