When people talk about healthy living and supplementation, often they tend to focus on two things: Fat loss, and, muscle growth. Whilst both of which are extremely beneficial, people often tend to find themselves underestimating the importance of stamina and endurance. Remember, not everybody will have the same goals as you, which means that some people will find themselves training differently to others. For people looking to train for a marathon or endurance race for example, they will obviously be looking to find ways to increase their stamina and endurance, to allow them to exercise harder, faster, and for longer, before they begin to fatigue. The truth however, is that, even if you aren’t training for an endurance event, increasing your stamina and endurance in general, will prove beneficial for a number of different reasons. Nowadays, endurance supplements are selling in far higher numbers than a few years ago, due to the fact that people are seeing and feeling the benefits of these products firsthand. If you’re looking to increase your stamina and endurance, here’s a look at 6 of the top endurance supplements currently available.
Quercetin is a form of flavonoid which is naturally occurring within a number of whole foods, including: nuts, fruits, and vegetables. Studies have found that quercetin can help to greatly boost the immune system, it can provide anti-cancer benefits, it possesses numerous anti-inflammatory properties, and of course, it also helps to increase a person’s stamina and endurance in the process. It is worth noting however, that if you are looking to benefit from increased endurance, it is not recommended that you rely solely on quercetin. The reason for this is that, although it has been proven to boost endurance, the increases it presents are only marginal. For this reason, athletes often stack quercetin with other endurance boosting supplements and compounds, to really maximize the effects.
L-Arginine is an amino acid and is actually one of the most common. It is found in foods including: dairy, seafood, meat, nuts, and seeds and it plays a vital role in cellular division, as well as in immune system function, the healing of wounds and injuries, and in the natural production, and secretion, of hormones. As far as endurance goes however, the main reason why this amino acid is considered so effective is all down to its natural effects on circulation. L-Arginine increases circulation, thus allowing more blood to flow around the body. Blood transports oxygen and nutrients to the cells within our muscles, and so obviously the more oxygen and nutrients these cells can absorb, the more energy they will have, and the more efficient the muscles will become as a result.
As far as endurance goes, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find a more popular endurance supplement than creatine monohydrate. Creatine works by increasing natural ATP production within the body. ATP, or Adenosine Tri Phosphate, is a source of energy that is used primarily by the muscles. As creatine helps the body to produce more natural ATP, the muscles will therefore have more energy, and again, will be able to exert themselves for longer before they begin to fatigue. Not only this, but also, creatine supplementation has been proven to significantly reduce recovery periods and can increase power outputs, resulting in more strength, more speed, and more explosive power.
Caffeine is another supplement that is very effective when it comes to endurance, and yet despite this, caffeine supplements by themselves, are often overlooked in favour of products such as pre-workout supplements. Whilst caffeine is indeed a key ingredient in these supplements, caffeine supplements alone are very beneficial for endurance athletes as they provide significant increases in mental stamina and alertness, as well as increases in physical energy in the process. Although the effects do wear off as the caffeine makes its way out of your system, it has been found to help reduce the perception of exertion and effort during exercise, making it feel easier and therefore making longer spells of physical activity more enjoyable.
Branch Chain Amino Acids are another example of supplements that happen to be incredibly popular, not only amongst bodybuilders and strength athletes, but also in endurance athletes as well. When it comes to fatigue, one of the root causes is when what is known as free tryptophan, actually crosses over into the brain-blood barrier. Although generally speaking, this is beneficial, in regards to exercise, it is most certainly not ideal. The reason for this is that tryptophan can assist with the production and secretion of hormones such as serotonin. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter which is responsible for making us feel tired, relaxed, calm, and sleepy. After a long day when you’re trying to get to sleep, that’s great, but when you’re about to embark on a long race or physical workout, rather than feeling tired and relaxed, you should instead want to feel alert and energized. BCAAs however, are effective as they compete with the exact same protein carriers as tryptophan. By increasing your BCAA consumption, less tryptophan will be able to cross the blood-brain barrier as the protein carriers will be busy with the amino acids instead. As well as this, BCAAs also have been found to increase the metabolism and can therefore help generate more energy, and they also improve post-workout recovery rates in the process.
Just because endurance athletes may not be trying to look like bodybuilders, that does not mean that they don’t need protein, because they most certainly do. Protein is vital for muscle maintenance, growth, repair, and function, and so as your muscles take such a pounding when you workout, ensuring they’re able to recover as quickly and effectively as possible is absolutely vital. On top of that, when you exercise for a prolonged amount of time, the body eventually turns to protein as an energy source and eats away at muscle tissue. By ensuring you have enough protein in your system however, you can prevent the body from eating away at your muscle tissue.