Dietary Supplements For Athletes – Be The First To Cross The Finish Line With Pills – Vigorous Herbs
The essentials in brief:
- Athletes do not generally have an increased need for vitamins and minerals.
- Most products are expensive and useless, and some are risky.
- Anyone who eats wholesome and varied foods can cover their nutritional requirements well even with high stress.
Is there an increased need for vitamins and minerals when doing sport?
Athletes suspect that because of their greater energy consumption, they have a higher need for nutrients such as vitamins and minerals. They also expect that they will achieve higher levels of performance by taking nutritional supplements. They also hope that this will have a positive effect on resilience during training and the immune system.
However, deficiencies in the supply of nutrients only occur if the diet is not balanced. This can be the case with weight-sensitive sports (rhythmic gymnastics, ballet, gymnastics, judo, etc.) and one-sided diets. Any deficits do not stem from greater consumption of nutrients.
Dietary supplements only have a performance-enhancing effect if there is a real supply deficit. A doctor should determine whether this is the case.
With an additional intake of vitamins and minerals beyond the actual requirement, no improvement in performance can be achieved.
Recommendations for supplementary intake are only available for athletes in an (extreme) diet phase. Often it is a matter of reaching a certain weight class. If you then eat much less, the intake of vitamins and minerals may not be sufficient.
As an athlete, what should I watch out for when using nutritional supplements?
- The use of dietary supplements can be associated with risk. If products are dosed too high, this can lead to an over-supply of certain substances, which is a health hazard.
- Also, drug interactions are possible. Senior athletes are primarily affected by this.
- And products are particularly critical from uncertain sources in the Internet trade to be assessed. Many products for athletes are contaminated, such as B. with harmful substances and those that are considered doping agents.
- Sports supplements are often advertised with promises that they don’t keep. They cannot replace a varied, healthy diet as they lack many valuable ingredients from natural foods
What are nutritional supplements for athletes and how should they be rated?
There are now numerous dietary supplements on the market that persuade athletes to say “higher, faster, further”. They are said to have a performance-generating or performance-enhancing effect, for example by increasing energy reserves, increasing muscle tissue, or cell damage caused by exercise repair.
The substances that are supposed to increase performance include, for example, amino acids, antioxidants, creatine, L-carnitine, taurine, and caffeine. In studies, however, their effectiveness for athletes has not yet been proven, with the exception of caffeine and creatine in a few sports.
The plentiful supply of dietary supplements with amino acids suggests that protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, or legumes cannot supply them sufficiently. In fact, people in Germany usually eat a lot of protein of high biological value.
Taurine, a substance similar to amino acids, is sufficiently formed in the body and consumed with fish, meat and milk. An increase in physical performance with an additional intake could not be proven.
Also, L-carnitine goes without added. It is produced in abundance by the body itself and also provided by meat in the menu. When used in sports nutrition, no improvement in endurance performance or fat burning could be demonstrated.
Food supplements that contain antioxidant substances such as vitamins C and E, beta-carotene, or polyphenols have not shown any positive effects in studies. No evidence of an increase in muscle performance or resilience could be provided, nor could chronic diseases accompanying exercise be reduced. Some studies have even shown that too many antioxidant vitamin products can do more harm than good.
Caffeine has a short-term performance-enhancing effect – but not for people who regularly drink large amounts of coffee, cola, or espresso and are therefore used to caffeine. It influences energy metabolism, has a nerve-stimulating effect, and stimulates blood circulation. Since caffeine also stimulates the intestines and kidneys, recreational athletes have to weigh up whether it is particularly useful in competitive situations or whether it is more of a nuisance to them. Too much caffeine leads to headaches and dizziness.
What else can I do?
- A varied, wholesome diet is completely sufficient so that you, as an athlete, get enough nutrients without having to resort to special athlete food.
- Protein-rich foods such as meat, fish, dairy products, or legumes provide all the important amino acids. You can by clever combination, e.g. B. cereals with beans or potatoes with milk, increase the biological value of the individual proteins.
- Any increased vitamin B1requirement of endurance athletes, such as marathon runners, can be met with normal foods without any problems. This vitamin is found in many plant and animal foods. The absorption from grain products (oatmeal, muesli) is even better if you mix them with fruit.
- There are plenty of antioxidant vitamins and other substances in vegetables and fruits.
- If you lose minerals through sweat during training and competitions, you can easily compensate for it: with vegetables, salads, bananas, juice spritzers, and potatoes. These provide plenty of magnesium, potassium, and other important minerals.
- Athletes who eat little, for example, to lose weight or to reach a certain weight class for their sport, should pay particular attention to a wholesome and varied menu. The same applies to athletes who are vegan.