As far as sports and athletic performance is concerned, you simply cannot underestimate the sheer importance of a healthy and balanced diet and nutritional program, as, without proper nutrition, an athlete simply will not be able to perform as they should, and that is never going to change. Of course, all of the hours that they put in at the gym, on the field, on the athletics track etc are all going to be extremely vital, but if they aren’t fuelling their bodies correctly, they truthfully may as well not bother, or they may as well resign themselves to the fact that they’re never going to perform consistently or effectively. We get all of our nutrition and energy from the foods and drinks we put into our body, and so if we wish to perform like an athlete, we need to eat and drink like an athlete. There’s a reason why 90% of all athletes consume vast quantities of protein, fresh vegetables, complex carbohydrates, and various other healthy ingredients on a daily basis, and that reason is performance. If you eat garbage, you look and feel like garbage, and you perform like garbage in your chosen event. Eat and drink healthily however, and you give your body exactly what it needs to perform at a top level. As well as healthy food and drink however, you simply cannot underestimate the power of sports supplements, which is why we’ll be taking an in-depth look at the top 5 supplements for athletes, right now.
Whey protein is arguably the most beneficial sports supplement currently on the market, and it is certainly aimed at individuals other than bodybuilders and people trying to bulk up. Protein plays a vital role in the growth and repair of our muscle tissue, and from an athletic standpoint, that is especially relevant as our muscles play such vital roles in so many athletic activities. People think that our muscles only really get used when we lift weights but in reality, by simply walking or running we’re using our muscles, and when you consider how active athletes are, and how many different muscle groups they use for their chosen sports, it’s no wonder why their muscles take such a pounding. After training and competing, these athletes need to kick-start the recovery process as soon as possible, to help their muscles to recover, to grow, to become stronger, and to prepare for the next training session/event. A whey protein shake following each training session/event will help boost protein synthesis and kick start the recovery process, allowing them to recover much quicker and more efficiently than before.
Vitamin C supplements can be purchased virtually anywhere, and are incredibly beneficial, not only for athletes, but for everyday individuals as well. Vitamin C strengthens and boosts the immune system, which in turn helps to keep us fit and healthy, protecting us against illness and disease. If we’re under the weather, even just slightly, our bodies do not function as they should and our athletic performance will be seriously hindered. But simply, a fit and healthy runner is always going to perform better than a runner suffering from a virus or illness. By consuming a basic vitamin C supplement each day, athletes are able to not only boost their immune systems, but also provide perfect internal conditions for the various processes that their bodies carry out every single second.
Ensuring that the body has a steady supply of nutrients is absolutely essential, and if your muscles take a real pounding several times each week, keeping them as big and as strong as possible is going to be absolutely essential. Because of this, a casein protein supplement consumed right before bedtime is incredibly beneficial as it will help the muscles to continue to recover and rebuild themselves, and it will also prevent muscle catabolism, which is where the body eats away at muscle tissue due to a lack of energy. The reason for this is that casein protein is a slow absorbing, slow digesting protein which will provide a slow and steady stream of nutrients to the muscles over the course of several hours when you sleep. This means that you recover quicker, your muscles perform more efficiently, and above all else, you don’t lose muscle mass, size, and strength due to catabolism.
BCAA supplements, or Branch Chain Amino Acid supplements, are often staple supplements used by athletes, due to the fact that they have been found to not only enhance athletic performance, but they also assist with post-workout muscle recovery as well. BCAAs consist of three amino acids: Leucine, Valine, and Isoleucine, all of which have different roles to play within the body. Combine them together, and you get the benefits of all three, plus the fact that they work in conjunction with one another, acting as catalysts, speeding up the results and making them far more prolific as well. BCAAs have been found to enhance energy levels, and fight fatigue, which is obviously every useful if you’re an athlete, because you will want to be able to exercise for longer and perform at a higher rate before you begin to tire. On top of this they also kick-start the recovery process after an intense exercise session so you recover far quicker and more efficiently as well. They can be consumed both, Intra, and post-workout.
Creatine Monohydrate is one of the most beneficial supplements that an athlete could ever wish for, due to the fact that it is so versatile and can benefit athletes taking part in so many different disciplines. Creatine monohydrate helps the body to naturally produce more ATP (Adenosine Tri-Phosphate) which is then used, by the muscles, as a primary source of energy for them. This is important because, as they have more energy, the muscles can work harder and for longer durations before they begin to fatigue. Lactic acid is an athlete’s worst nightmare, as it leads to fatigue and muscle cramping. Creatine helps to buffer lactic acid production, so not only do the muscles have more energy, they can also work harder for longer, which, from an athletic perspective, is absolutely ideal.