Most athletes know the importance a good diet and exercise routine. However, what they may not know is that the key to better performance and improved work capacity isn’t always about eating more of the right foods or trying harder in the gym. In many cases, all an athlete needs is some supplementation to help them take things to the next level. However, it’s important for athletes to realize that not all supplements are created equal, and some have been proven to work better than others. Read on for a brief rundown of the best supplements for athletes to help them avoid fatigue, increase performance, and recover rapidly.
Pre-Workout & Energy
In addition to the stress of daily life, working out can really zap an athlete’s energy. Fortunately, the following two supplements can help them get it back:
- Beta-Alanine: During exercise, the buildup of hydrogen ions drop the body’s pH and increases the chances of fatigue. Taking beta-alanine before a workout can help prevent this oxygen buildup from happening do that fatigue is deferred.
- Caffeine: This well-known stimulant also happens to be a main ingredient in coffee and can help give an athlete instant energy, increased alertness, and reduce their perception of the effort they’re exerting.
Sometimes all an athlete wants is to run longer distances or get through a lot of repetitions without stopping. Here are two supplements that can help them do just that:
- Creatine: This supplement supports the rapid regeneration of ATP (an energy source) so that athletes can power through high-intensity exercise without fatigue.
- Nitric Oxide: Also called NO2, these supplements keep muscle failure at bay by increasing oxygen to the muscles and decreasing lactic acid buildup.
Helping With Recovery
The following supplements will help athletes recover faster so they can get right back in the gym:
- Protein: Drinking a protein shake after a workout helps with protein synthesis (which in turn helps with muscle building) and assists the body in the recovery process.
- Fish Oil: The fatty acids in fish oil work to reduce inflammation after a workout and can help keep delayed onset muscle soreness away so that athletes feel better faster.
Adequate supplementation has the potential to take an athlete from good to great. Although even the best supplements can never replace a quality diet and hard work, they can be just what athletes need to give them that extra push toward their goals.