Supplements help athletes gain weight, maintain energy levels, and address a known nutrient deficiency (if any). However, the options have grown exponentially over the years. If you are wondering which supplements should you take for optimum performance and nutrition, read this blog to make an informed decision.
1. Protein Powder
Muscle gain, maintaining weight, faster muscle growth, and recovery are a few benefits of consuming protein. Though whole food sources are good sources of protein, these may not meet the daily protein requirement for sportspersons. Therefore, quality protein powders like Weider protein are a convenient choice to bridge the nutritional gap. For example, whey protein has many other health benefits besides providing optimum nutrition. So, protein powders also contribute to the overall health profile. Besides, fresh meat or lentils, or veggies may not be available everywhere. And if you are a sportsperson with a rough and busy schedule, protein powders are indispensable.
2. Vitamin D
Bone health is crucial for the daily training and performance of speed and power athletes. Vitamin D helps prevent pulls and injuries and optimizes bone health. It also aids in protein synthesis, regulation of electrolyte metabolism, and immune function gene expression. These functions are vital for staying fit and healthy—a prerequisite for sportspersons. Vitamin D nutrition is just a pill away when athletes are busy managing their schedules and training indoors. The climate also plays a significant role here. Sportspersons living in colder areas need more Vitamin D supplementation because of a lack of sun exposure.
The more you use your muscles, the more protein requirements for strength and repair, and it stands true for Omega-3s too. These are long-chain fatty acids, EPA and DHA, that help offset damage due to free radicals. Hardcore exercise generates free radicals that increase oxidative protein damage, lipid peroxidation, and glutathione oxidation. Simply put, strenuous workouts cause inflammation that wears muscles, joints, and ligaments down. Taking omega-3 supplements minimizes this damage. It also helps clear the arteries and ensures efficient blood flow to the muscles and the brain. In addition, Omega 3 intake also ensures a healthy heart and vision. Bioavailable fish oil and krill oil are the best Omega-3 supplements you can buy.
4. Branched Chain Amino Acids
As defined in a blog on the University of New Hampshire, “BCAAs stands for branched-chain amino acids, and the branched-chain refers to the structure of the amino acids. The three branched-chain amino acids are leucine, isoleucine, and valine. Out of these three, the most essential is leucine because it has been known to stimulate protein synthesis (muscle growth) on its own.” Deficiency in BCAAs could lead to muscle loss and increased catabolic effect of dieting on the body. In the case of bodybuilders, intense workouts result in BCAA deletion at a faster rate. Consuming BCAA supplements help reduce muscle damage and aids recovery to sustain the anabolic state.
Our body produces creatine in muscle cells to provide energy during high-intensity exercise or heavy lifting. Taking it as a supplement ensures muscle gain, improvement in exercise performance, and better strength. Moreover, it helps reduce post-workout soreness and muscle cramps. With repeated power benefits, creatine supplements spike phosphocreatine (the form of creatine that gets stored in our bodies) and help produce a high-energy molecule called ATP. It allows sportspersons to perform better, gain muscle mass, and recover faster.