Athletic performance supplements make it easy to avoid nutritional deficiencies and get additional doses of key nutrients that can help you excel on the playing field. But as you begin to explore your options, you'll soon find out that there are hundreds of types of supplements out there all claiming to enhance athletic performance. Which ones really work and what benefits do they provide? Read on to discover our top five picks for athletic performance supplements:
A Word About Performance Enhancement
None of these five athletic performance supplements are generally regarded as performance enhancing substances that are banned from athletic competitions. Even creatine, which helps support the development of muscle mass, is generally allowed by most amateur, collegiate and professional sports associations, leagues and organisations. Still, you may want to consult the official rules of your sport before you take any type of performance enhancing supplement, particularly if you're choosing something not on this list or that you're buying from a website other than Sportsfuel.
1. Creatine Monohydrate
If there is one dietary supplement that all athletes should be using, it's creatine monohydrate. In clinical studies, creatine has been shown to help increase endurance and fight fatigue during intense workouts and sporting matches. This amino acid is found in your skeletal muscle naturally and is used to produce energy to help power your muscles through movements. Supplements make more creatine available to keep your energy levels as high as possible even during vigorous exercise.
Tips for Athletes: Experts generally recommend that athletes take 3 to 5 grams of creatine monohydrate per day.
Caffeine, the same natural stimulant that's found in your coffee or tea, is a powerful athletic performance supplement. Caffeine activates the nervous system to help you stay more alert during athletic competition and training. Plus, the supplement assists with the metabolism of body fat. Studies show that taking a pre-workout or caffeine supplement is more beneficial for athletes than simply drinking a basic energy drink or cup of coffee.
Tips for Athletes: Experts generally recommend that athletes take 1.8 to 2.7 milligrams of caffeine for every pound of body weight on the days that they work out. Time your dose so that you take it roughly 60 minutes before you exercise.
The amino acid beta-alanine helps to keep your body's pH within optimal range when you're pushing your endurance to the limits. Why does that matter? Well, when hydrogen levels increase in your body and your pH goes out of balance, you're more likely to experience that achy burning muscle fatigue that can slow you down.
Tips for Athletes: Experts generally recommend that athletes take 3 to 6 grams of beta-alanine per day.
Training and competition both put major strain on your muscles. That strain is what encourages your body to produce stronger, bigger muscle cells, though, but it can only do so with the help of the amino acids found in protein. Anyone who works out frequently needs to ensure that they get ample protein with the help of a supplement.
Tips for Athletes: Experts generally recommend that athletes take 20 to 25 grams of protein per day. Whey protein is the most commonly used form because it has a complete amino acid profile, and it becomes quickly absorbed to supply nutrients rapidly. If you're lactose intolerant or vegan, a protein powder made with soy or another plant-based protein powder would be a better fit for your diet.
5. Fish Oil
Fish oils give you a dose of omega-3 fatty acids, nutrients that are required for proper recovery after training or workouts. In addition, studies show that they can reduce inflammation to ease soreness after you've given a workout your all.
Tips for Athletes: Experts generally recommend that athletes take 2 grams of fish oils per day. Be sure to choose one that includes both eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) for best results.
Choosing the Right Supplement
Because these five athletic performance enhancing supplements are all so effective and beneficial, they are also incredibly popular. As a result, many different supplement brands offer their own versions of these sports nutrition supplements. For a beginner, it can be difficult to decide which type is right and whether it's best to choose a standalone supplement or look for a combination formula with multiple nutrients in it. Our customer service team here at Sportsfuel can help you choose the right supplements to complement your training goals and give you the best possible boost in performance no matter what sport you play.
Contact us today for assistance!