Eight Essential Sports Nutrition supplements

Fitness has, thanks to greater nutritional awareness, which has changed dramatically over the last decade. Though it retains an intense focus on training, nutritional supplements have crept into the diet of even the least casual gym goers. From protein supplements to amino acids, the language and detail of targeted nutrition supplementation have become commonplace. But which ones are essential to your workout and post-workout routines? Here’s eight:

  • Whey Protein – The bedrock for modern fitness nutrition, whey protein has become an essential part of the modern fitness regime. Containing several complex peptides (ß-lactoglobulin, a-lactalbumin, glycomacro-peptide, et cetera), it also contained all the essential amino acids and, of course, extremely high levels of protein. That makes it excellent for lean muscle growth as well as recovery, weight loss and a healthy immune system.

Proteins are absolutely essential for muscle growth and are the building blocks of muscle. In the body there are 20 amino acids present that combine to make proteins. Nine of these amino acids are “essential” meaning they cannot be synthesized by the body and therefore must come from diet or supplementation.

The amount of protein you should be taking will depend on a number of factors such as size, age and how active you are. If you’re an athlete or are looking to bulk up then you should be taking more protein than the average person. As a rule of thumb you should be taking in between 1.2 and 1.7 grams of protein each day, for each kilogram of body weight. Remember that this is a rule of thumb and will not be the same for all people.

  • Creatine –If you’re serious about your performance, then creatine is the supplement for you. Increasing muscle power and strength, creatine  supplementation works by increasing the creating content of skeletal muscles, which in turn extends the amount of time your muscles can exert maximum power

Improving performance Creatine supplements are commonly used by athletes because of their effectiveness in high-intensity training.

People take creatine because it allows the body to produce more energy, and with more energy “you can lift one or two more reps or 5 more pounds” and “your muscles will get bigger and stronger,” said Chad Kerksick, Ph.D., assistant professor of exercise physiology at the University of Oklahoma.

Creatine may also help improve the strength of people who have muscular dystrophy.

Casein Protein

Whilst whey protein is ideal for between meals and before/after a workout, the slow burn of casein protein makes it ideal for when frequent protein intake isn’t possible, or whilst you’re sleeping. An ideal meal replacement.

Casein is a slow digesting protein. Casein clots in stomach, forming large globules of protein

This slows down the rate of the gastric emptying, meaning amino acids in casein enter the bloodstream at a sustained rate.

Casein allows for the repair and recovery of muscle fibres which cannot only decrease muscle soreness, but also help you achieve your goals at a quicker rate.

Scientific studies show casein protein can take up to 7 hours to digest, which is just about as long as the average person sleeps every night. Casein extends the release of amino acids into the bloodstream, improving nitrogen retention (necessary for protein synthesis).

Casein for Bones and Teeth

Believe it or not consuming casein protein can also benefit your dental health! Studies have shown that casein consumption can help boost teeth enamel, helping to reduce acid erosion.

 

  • Omega-3 Fish Oils –We’ve always known about the health benefits that fish oils offer for general health, but they’re also vital for athletes. Studies have shown that increasing omega-3 levels in athletes enhances insulin sensitivity and slows muscle loss. Additionally, it’s been shown to maximise fat loss and decrease muscle soreness. Capsules are easily available too.
  • BCAA Powder –Branch Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are vital because they’re the only amino acids that are used directly by muscle as energy during exercise. Once depleted, your muscles feel tired and sore. BCAA powders, taken before a workout, have been proven to improve muscle performance and boost recovery times.
  • Leucine –Similar to BCAAs, Leucine is a vital recovery tool. Tested against a placebo, Leucine decreased muscle soreness by 30% and increased muscle damage by 22%. It also promoted greater weight loss.
  • Taurine –You might know it from energy drinks like Red Bull, but taurine is also an important supplement for metabolism function. Often a part of pre-made workout supplements, it can be taken on its own too.

What it’ll do for you: Taurine is often prescribed to treat congestive heart failure, high blood pressure, liver disease, high cholesterol, ADHD and more. “Although most amino acids are needed to build protein, taurine does not help to build muscle because it doesn’t link with other amino acids or the building blocks of protein,” explains Roberta Anding, RD, American Dietetic Association spokesperson and sports dietitian for the Houston Texans. “Taurine does, however, function as an antioxidant.” Antioxidants protect the body’s cells from damage that results from certain chemical reactions involving oxygen (oxidation). Taurine is also said to improve mental and athletic performance

  • Green Tea Extract – A huge body of work has found that green tea has a number of wide ranging effects on the body that improve health and weight management. But you don’t have to drink it to get those benefits. Green tea extract offers all the benefits of green team from the mug, like vastly improves metabolic rates and breakdown of fats within cells.

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