An Athlete’s Guide to 6 Must-Have Sports Nutrition Supplements
Do you ever find yourself so sore and exhausted after a workout that you know you’re going to have to skip the gym tomorrow? Have you ever trained to hit a new PR only to find yourself stuck at the weight you maxed out at before? These experiences are monumentally frustrating.
However, there are ways to combat these issues. The solution can lie in sports nutrition supplements. Scientists design these supplements to get your body operating at its absolute best.
If you want to exceed your own potential and achieve peak performance, this guide is for you. We’ll provide you with a comprehensive look at six of the best sports nutrition supplements available for you today.
Why You Should Consider Taking Sports Nutrition Supplements
If you are an athlete or workout enthusiast, you spend your time in the gym pushing your body to the max. Follow this up with a nutritious, balanced diet and you’ve got the perfect foundation for a healthy lifestyle.
However, sometimes diet and commitment to exercise aren’t enough. You may see your athletic progress plateau and be unable to hit that new PR you’ve been training for. You may find yourself increasingly more exhausted and sore after intense workouts.
This is where supplements can give you a leg up. There are many supplements for sports nutrition that can help you with soreness, recovery, and performance.
It’s important to consider the benefits of each one and tailor supplement choices to your specific needs. When used correctly, sports nutrition supplements can give you that extra boost that you need, get you back in the gym faster, and support your overall wellness.
Make sure to consult with your doctor before adding any supplements to your daily routine. Their guidance will help you determine which products will give you the greatest benefits.
Branched-chain amino acids are commonly referred to as BCAAs. They are a group of essential amino acids. That means that your body doesn’t produce them on its own, so you have to get them from food or supplements.
BCAAs include the amino acids valine, leucine, and isoleucine.
The use of BCAA sports nutrition supplements can support muscle growth, alleviate soreness, and decrease muscle fatigue.
Leucine activates a pathway in the body that stimulates the process of making muscle. In one PubMed Central study, people who consumed a drink with 5.6 grams of BCAAs after their workout had a 22% increase in muscle growth compared to people who consumed a placebo drink.
While BCAAs can increase the synthesis of muscle protein, they can’t work to their maximum potential without the support of the other essential amino acids. You can find these in whey protein and other complete protein sources such as eggs, turkey, fish, and certain beans.
This is one of the reasons that supplements work best when supporting a balanced and nutritious diet. Remember, they’re supposed to supplement, not substitute.
BCAAs can also help decrease muscle soreness after an intense workout. It’s normal to feel sore for a day or two after working out, particularly if your routine is new or you max out a particular muscle group.
This soreness is called delayed onset muscle soreness, or DOMS. DOMS can be particularly annoying if the soreness sits in an essential group of muscles like your abs. Severe DOMS in this area can make coughing, sneezing, or even breathing painful.
Several studies have shown that BCAAs decrease protein breakdown and muscle damage during exercise. This can seriously reduce the length and severity of DOMS. Supplementing with BCAAs, especially before exercise, can help you speed up recovery time and get back in the gym.
BCAAs can also help decreased exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Your muscles use BCAAs during exercise, which causes their levels in your blood to decrease.
This decline triggers your brain to produce tryptophan, which is then converted to serotonin. Serotonin is widely known as the feel-good chemical that makes your brain feel happy. But it is also through to contribute to the eventual onset of fatigue during exercise.
Taking BCAAs before your workout ensures that there are adequate amounts of them in your blood. This can increase the amount of time you can spend exercising before you get fatigued.
Supplementing with BCAAs can provide many advantages to athletes. They can support muscle growth, decrease the severity and length of muscle soreness, and decrease workout fatigue. If you decide to take BCAAs, make sure you’re eating foods rich in the other essential amino acids so that they can work to their maximum potential.
L-arginine is another amino acid. You can find it in many protein-rich foods such as meat and nuts. Your body also synthesizes l-arginine from citrulline in your kidneys.
There are many ways that l-arginine can benefit your body. It can increase blood flow, decrease soreness, boost your energy levels, and stimulate muscle growth.
When you take l-arginine, your body converts it to nitric oxide. Nitric oxide is a potent vasodilator, meaning that it opens up your blood vessels.
When blood vessels dilate, there is an increase in blood flow and the delivery of nutrients and oxygen to your muscles. This makes them work more effectively during workouts.
Increased vasodilation has also been shown to help with anxiety and lower stress hormone levels. In addition to this, the increased circulation helps support male sexual health. The boost of nitric oxide can also help reduce hair loss.
Increased blood flow also speeds up the removal of metabolic waste products. These are the chemicals, such as lactate and ammonia, that build up in your muscles during exercise and contribute to soreness. When your blood is pumping to its maximum efficiency, these chemicals get washed out of your muscles faster.
L-arginine also assists with your body’s production of creatine. Creatine is a substance found in muscular cells that supplies them with energy for high-intensity training. This means that supplementing with l-arginine can boost your muscular energy levels during training.
In addition to this, there are two chemicals that your body makes to stimulate muscle growth. One is the human growth hormone or HGH. The other is the insulin-like growth factor-1 or IGF-1.
L-arginine increases your body’s secretion of both chemicals and helps increase your body’s rate of muscle growth.
L-arginine is a great supplement choice for overall health and wellness. It is particularly useful to athletes who engage in high-intensity cardio training. Supplementing with this compound can also support BCAA supplements by mixing them with the other essential amino acids that they require to function at their maximum potential.
Omega-3 Fish Oil
Omega-3 fish oil is one of the most popular and widely used sports nutrition supplements on the market today. Fish oil is fat or oil extracted from fish tissue. It is typically produced from fish like herring, tuna, anchovies, and mackerel.
The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil provide a variety of health benefits. If you don’t include a lot of fish in your diet, a fish oil supplement can help fill in missing nutrients.
Fish oil supplements that are rich in EPA and DHA can help support the heart, brain, and joints. It also reduces inflammation, aids in weight loss, and increases the length and quality of sleep.
Heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide. While omega-3 fish oil cannot treat heart disease itself, it can lower multiple risk factors that can lead to it. It can increase your levels of HDL cholesterol, also known as good cholesterol.
Fish oil can also lower triglycerides, which are the main component of body fat in humans by 15-30%. Omega-3 can also reduce blood pressure and prevent the buildup of plaques that harden your arteries.
Omega-3 may also help treat certain mental disorders. Your brain is made up of about 60% fat, most of which is comprised of omega-3 fatty acids. Therefore, an adequate amount of omega-3 is essential to maintain normal brain function.
Fish oil supplements can reduce the chances of developing psychotic disorders. It can also be used to supplement treatment for schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and depression.
People who suffer from these diseases often have lower levels of omega-3 in their blood. Supplementing with fish oil can reduce some of the unpleasant symptoms that these diseases cause.
Omega-3 fish oil has can also reduce inflammation. Chronic inflammation is associated with many serious illnesses such as obesity, diabetes, depression, and heart disease. Fish oil can reduce the production of inflammatory molecules called cytokines.
Studies have also shown that omega-3 can aid in weight loss. It works to improve the composition of your body by lowering your levels of unhealthy fat while ensuring that you aren’t depriving your body of the healthy fats it needs to function.
Supplementing with fish oil can’t shave the pounds off on its own. However, paired with a healthy diet and an exercise routine involving lots of cardio, it can help your body reduce the amount of fat it is storing.
In addition to all this, omega-3 has been proven to support a healthy sleep cycle. Quality sleep is the foundation of good health. Many of the illnesses that we have mentioned such as diabetes, obesity, and depression can lead to sleep deprivation.
Low levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been linked to sleep apnea in adults. Low levels of DHA have also been linked to lower levels of melatonin. Supplementing with DHA rich fish oil can help you fight insomnia and get a better night’s sleep.
Omega-3 fish oil provides a wide variety of benefits. There’s a reason it’s one of the most widely used supplements in the world. In addition to a balanced diet and exercise, supplementing with omega-3 can help fight many different illnesses and improve your overall health.
Post Cycle Therapy
Post cycle therapy or PCT can be incredibly useful to athletes who focus primarily on bodybuilding. Bodybuilding can be an incredibly taxing process. Many athletes decide to use sports supplements to ensure they are getting the most from their workouts.
However, the constant cycling of supplements can throw your body off balance. If you decide to go off of a supplement or switch from one to another, your body may take some time to return to healthy production levels of the compound you were supplementing.
This often occurs during competition cycles. Athletes may train hard and use supplements before a competition, then take a week off to recover once the competition is over. This recovery process can throw your body out of balance and leave you feeling weak and fatigued.
Post cycle therapy can ease the transition between supplement cycles. PCT supplements help restore your body’s natural levels of vitamins and minerals. It also makes it possible to continue training during this recovery period.
PCT ensures that you won’t lose muscle mass while recuperating from supplement cycles. It also helps you recover nutrients lost during exercise. This ensures that you’ll be energized and ready for your next workout.
Multivitamins are an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The good ones are designed to supplement vitamins and minerals that may be missing from your everyday diet.
For athletes, finding something that works both as a multivitamin and a sports nutrition supplement can help you maximize your workouts and ensure overall health. There are multivitamin sports nutrition supplements formulated specifically for both men and women.
The male body needs a wide range of nutrients to be as healthy as possible and to function optimally during exercise. Most diets do not provide all of these nutrients.
Taking a multivitamin for men can help support your overall health. Look for one that contains nutrients like iron, beta carotene, and lycopene.
If you are taking other medications, it’s crucial to find one that won’t interact with them. That ensures that you can incorporate it into your diet without adverse side effects.
Just like the male body, the female body needs a variety of essential nutrients to perform at its highest capacity. Women’s multivitamins are targeted to provide those nutrients and ensure that you’re getting the most out of your body.
Vegans and vegetarians are recommended to add a multivitamin to their daily routine in order to ensure they are getting proper nutrition. They are at a higher risk for vitamin B12 deficiency and others.
Women who are breastfeeding or want to conceive should also take daily multivitamins. Their bodies need higher levels of folic acid in order to function properly.
Women’s multivitamins that contain biotin can also help your hair and nails look stronger and shinier. Selenium is another ingredient to look for to fight inflammation and infection. These multivitamins can help you both look and feel better.
Don’t Be Satisfied With Your Old Best
If you’re serious about pushing your body to the limit, then sports nutrition supplements are for you. They can help you maximize your body’s potential and achieve peak performance.
Now that you know about the six best supplements for sports nutrition, the next step is to consult with your physician. Find out which supplements are right for you and will give you the greatest possible benefits. Then, check out Supplementor for the best selection of high-quality sports nutrition supplements on the market today.