Selecting Sports Supplements
What are Sports Supplements?
Sports supplements (or ergogenic aids) can be used by anyone seeking to enhance athletic performance and help achieve their dietary goals through the regular intake of nutrients in concentrated amounts than what’s typically found in everyday foods. Sports supplements are generally made up from a combination of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, herbs and/or botanicals and works best in conjunction with regular training and a healthy diet.
However, be warned!
There are no magic formulas, pills, powders or supplements that can replace hard work. Never underestimate the value of eating well, training hard and allowing for rest and recovery.
How do you know what your taking is relevant to helping you achieve your goals?
Here are some of the most common staple ingredients you’ll see on the label and what they actually mean.
Arginine: A firm favourite among body builders and athletes as the most popular pre-workout ingredient due to the body’s ability to readily convert the substance into nitric oxide, allowing for increased blood flow. This is an essential process that allows for more effective delivery of nutrients along with reduced metabolic fatigue.
Creatine: While creatine is a natural substance found in red meat and fish, it has become a highly researched and proven supplement that works to enhance performance during high intensity exercises. This means smashing out more reps plus giving you more energy to sprint faster and engage more forcefully in your training. Creatine also reduces fatigue and boosts brain function and memory.
Glutamine: Is an essential staple ingredient in sports supplementation because it helps build and repair muscle. During high intensity exercise, your glutamine levels are reduced resulting in decreased strength, stamina and recovery. Without supplementation, it can take up to 6 days for your glutamine levels to return to normal. Glutamine not only improves your body’s ability to recover during sleep, but increases levels of Human Growth Hormone, which helps your body metabolise fat and build lean muscle. This is particularly useful for people wishing to ‘cut down’ on body fat without losing muscle.
Branched chain amino acids (BCAA’S): Made up of the essential amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine. BCAA’s can only be received through food or supplementation. The reason BCAA’s are a staple ingredient within sports nutrition is because it increases the rate of protein synthesis as well as the cell’s capacity for protein synthesis to occur. Simply put, it not only allows your body to produce protein faster but the amount for which your body can take which is a key process in muscle building. Another fantastic benefit is if you need to take time off from training due to injury or lack of time, increasing your BCAA intake will help minimise muscle loss.
At Elite Vitamin Zone, we specialise in high quality sports nutrition and supplementation. Whether you’re just starting out, looking to lose weight or have been drawing comparisons to your fitness and health idol, our friendly expert team can help you choose the right supplement to suit your training needs. Come in store or send us an email and we’ll get you on the right track to achieving your health goals today.