Products used by sports persons to enhance their performance are known as sports supplements. They are available in the market in the form of energy bars, sports drinks, or energy gels. They include products like amino acids, vitamins, herbal extracts, minerals, or plant extracts. Dietary supplements may also contain fiber like psyllium or guar gum and also enzymes and hormone mimicking compounds. These ergogenic products have been in use by sportsmen from time immemorial. Ancient Greeks used mushrooms to enhance their athletic prowess. The world of sport is so competitive today and the rewards for the winners so attractive that people are willing to go to any extent to have that extra edge over their competitors.
Pros Of Sports Supplements
Sports supplements help to enhance strength and build mass quickly. The basic diet of a competitive athlete typically includes plenty of nutrients like minerals, vitamins, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. These are required in sports like bodybuilding and weight lifting and also in endurance sports like swimming, cycling, and running. The main purpose of these supplements is to increase muscle mass and promote quicker recovery from workouts. The amino acids help in fat oxidation or burning during the training workouts. Arginine helps to improve blood flow to muscles thus resulting in better nutrient supply and enhanced performances. Creatine is used to help athletes perform for a short duration high intensity exercise.
Benefits Of Sports Supplements
The main purpose of these supplements is to stave off fatigue, soreness, and the effects of injury. The use of these supplements are determined also by the type of sport as well as body mass index, height, weight, gender, stage of workout whether it be pre-workout, intra workout, or during recovery. Pre-workout supplements help to enhance muscle endurance, aerobic and anaerobic power, increase mental stimulation, and help in quicker recovery with less soreness after the workout. Intraworkout supplements are now an important part of sports nutrition. They supply essential amino acids, branched chain amino acids, and short chain peptides to muscle tissue in the time of their greatest use. Thus it helps in quicker recovery, cell rebuilding process, and much less soreness at the end of the day.
Cons Of Using Sports Supplements
The cons of using these products are that they are usually not FDA approved. The onus is on the FDA to prove they are safe rather than the other way around, therefore they really may not be safe despite the tall claims they make. Health risks of taking in excess supplementation include calcium loss, renal damage, gastrointestinal problems, dehydration, gout, bloating, and so on. Some of these products may be contaminated with steroids and if the athletes test positive, it could be the end of their career.
Sports supplements are essential for enhanced performance in sports but must be used judiciously and safely by athletes to obtain the right results and the crowning glory.