There are endless opinions about which sports supplements can be considered really working, but we decided to talk about the most necessary minimum for every athlete, no matter what discipline he chooses for himself.
The first thing to remember is that the sports nutrition market is the same trading platform where the laws of marketing apply. Manufacturers will do anything to make you pay for an “improved formula”, a “secret ingredient” or just a flashy package.
The second thing that amateur athletes should remember is that no supplement can replace hard work. Gym, swimming pool, stadium, tennis court or ring – to get the result, you have to work hard. It is equally important to monitor the quality of nutrition, the calorie content and composition of which vary depending on the tasks.
Finally, you need to look again at the compiled training program. These points are the foundation. Only after it is laid, you can move on.
Protein is the most popular supplement used by all athletes who take their activity more or less seriously. The intake of additional protein “from the can” helps to accelerate muscle growth, helping to repair injured muscle fibers faster.
All whey protein is divided into casein, concentrate, isolate and hydrolyzate. Casein is absorbed by the body the longest, concentrate – somewhat faster, isolate – in 15-20 minutes, hydrolyzate – almost immediately after ingestion.
Casein is good to drink at night, concentrate is used for cooking (for example, to make protein ice cream), but isolate and hydrolyzate are best taken before and after training, diluted with water or milk. This will protect your muscles from catabolism and help them recover faster.
Of course, if you’re getting enough protein from regular foods, or if you’re having kidney or liver problems, you don’t need to go heavy on artificial protein. However, it is important to remember that muscles begin to build only when the body receives at least 1.5-2 grams of protein per kilogram of its own weight.
This is the most versatile supplement, the most valuable fatty acids and a powerful immune stimulant of natural origin. Fish oil is prescribed by cardiologists for the prevention of cardiovascular diseases, it is included in the list of auxiliary drugs for the prevention of various forms of cancer.
Fish oil, even if you do not play sports and read this article for general educational purposes, is best bought in sports nutrition stores, and you cannot save on it. For an adult man or woman, the daily dosage of eicosapentaenoic and docosahexaenoic acids (namely, they are found in fish oil) should be 2.5–3 grams.
Fast, or, as they are also called, simple, carbohydrates need to be “wrapped” with a workout, unless, of course, it is aimed at intensive fat burning. This means that you can afford jam, honey, bananas or sweet yogurt before and immediately after your workout. Most of them will contribute to the rapid resynthesis of glycogen after exercise.
If you don’t want to carry food with you to training, you can buy a dry carbohydrate mixture – a gainer, which, although it will not replace a full meal, will be more nutritious than a simple snack.
Creatine is the sports supplement with the strongest evidence base. Its regular intake leads to an increase in strength indicators and an increase in muscle mass. Among other things, creatine is the cheapest supplement you can buy in a sports nutrition store. Today there are different forms of it, however, if you do not like to overpay for a beautiful package, it is best to buy creatine monohydrate – the oldest and time-tested form of release.
Vitamins and minerals are needed not only by athletes: with beriberi or an imbalance of minerals, the general condition of the body worsens, there is an inability to concentrate on mental work and general lethargy.
It is believed that with a complete, balanced diet, you can forget about tableted vitamins. Given the condition of the soil, environmental problems, the forced growth of fruits and vegetables, such statements are overly optimistic.