One of the things we see in our Athlete program classes is how hard our members are willing to train and commit to reaching their goals. After all, they are preparing to compete professionally and are willing to do whatever it takes to excel in the sport they love. Therefore, one of the things we often hear is related to supplements. How much of an impact can it have in my training? Will it give me an edge? Am I missing something if I’m not taking them?
The answer is they can give you an extra boost in your performance, but when it comes down to the final result, they shouldn’t be seen as a panacea and in the end, what truly matters is how hard and smart you train. At the same time, everybody is different, which means everybody will react differently to certain supplements.
Keep in mind studies on the subject have mixed results, and it is always best to consult a doctor before taking them, as they can be harmful to your health, but we strongly suggest reading labels as ASADA have banned substances lists and an ingredient in your supplement could negatively impact your performance or disqualify you from competing.
We would suggest also asking yourself these 3 questions before deciding to add supplements to your diet/training program:
One – What’s the supplement your looking at, and can you get it from your diet?
Two – What is in the supplement that you’re purchasing? Read the ingredients. It is so important.
Three – Check with ASADA website. List of supplements, ingredients and banned substances.
That said, these are four supplements that may be helpful:
1– Whey protein: The most popular, Whey protein helps reduce muscle damage and promotes its growth. Although some studies show they are best taken after exercising, they are ok to be taken at any time during the day.
2- Branched-chain amino acids: These are the three amino acids that muscles use for energy. What’s useful about amino acids is that it can reduce muscle breakdown, which happens after exercising due to the amount of stress they are put in.
3- Caffeine: Might be surprising, but caffeine can work as a good supplement. Studies show that caffeine provides a boost in endurance-type exercises.
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