Despite being an image of health, athletes are very susceptible to nutrient deficiencies. One reason for this is that being physically active requires higher nutritional needs. Also, other athletes have to restrict their diets for aesthetic and performance-related reasons.
Unfortunately, athletes’ nutritional gaps may hurt their health and recovery, which plays a crucial role in their athletic performance. Optimal recovery requires essential nutrients. If they aren’t met, athletes typically tap into ergogenic aids. Here are five among many beneficial supplements that can boost athletes’ muscle recovery, as well as performance, to the maximum.
Whey products are basically sources of protein, which is needed for muscle recovery. In addition, most athletes need proteins for immediate energy and healing to continue training. So it’s no wonder they grab a whey protein shake as their post-run recovery meal.
In addition, proteins are excellent sources of energy. It can also support immunity, boost concentration, and improve athletic performance. Moreover, it reduces fatigue and muscle breakdown during intense exercise.
Hydrolyzed whey protein is the fastest absorbing protein to date and can almost circumvent our natural digestive process. It is directly absorbed into one’s strained muscle tissues, resulting in faster muscle repair and strengthening.
Glutamine is like fuel for our immune cells. So your immune system will not work well when you get a low level of it. The thing is, glutamine gets quickly depleted after doing strenuous exercises, which negatively affects the process of muscle recovery in the long run.
Many recent athletic health data reports show that the lack or low level of glutamine is one of the factors why runners and other endurance athletes suffer:
- Interruptions in immune system functioning causing influenza and colds;
- Oxidative stress; and
- Transient inflammation results in muscular dystrophy.
It’s recommended to take glutamine after running. An adequate level of it helps the hydration process by improving electrolytes and muscle absorption. Bear in mind that hydrating after a workout is key to recovery. To know more about this supplement, check out the Buzzrx Blog.
Ah coffee, who doesn’t love a cup of warm coffee in the morning? Caffeine improves almost every ability needed in most sports. It is a natural stimulant that positively affects the prefrontal cortex (PFC), the area where planning, attention span, and concentration are controlled.
In fact, it’s one of the athletes’ popular go-to performance enhancers and on the list of the best pre workout supplements for many reasons. First, it can reduce drowsiness and fatigue by stimulating your central nervous system.
Not only that, but it can also improve endurance and increase muscular strength, boosting your exercise performance. WADA or the World Anti-Doping Agency does not include caffeine in its list of banned substances for athletes competing in international competitions.
Caffeine can also effectively lessen delayed-onset muscle soreness or DOMS. Hence, it’s recommended to consume coffee, tea, anhydrous supplements, and other caffeinated products before an intense training, particularly around 45–60 minutes before training.
Moreover, caffeine has a large number of antioxidants that can improve recovery, as well as protect from damages caused by free radicals. Ideally, consume coffee with carbohydrates after a workout for better muscle glycogen resynthesis.
Branched Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs)
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are used initially as part of the treatments for liver diseases. They’re not known in the sports community at first. However, things changed after many Olympics athletes, like elite Olympian runner Amy Begley, started using BCAAs to improve their overall performance in training and games.
BCAAs work like whey proteins. Since it’s a protein source, it can aid in tissue repair, hasten exercise recovery, prevent injuries, boost immune function, and increase the production of oxygen-carrying red blood cells.
When it comes to the best time to take it, it depends on your goals and needs. It’s taken before working out to improve performance and muscle building. On the contrary, it’s consumed after training to supply energy, avoid fatigue, and lessen muscle breakdown.
We’ve been talking about muscles. What about our bones? By all means, this list will never be completed without any supplementation for calcium. It’s a rule of thumb to take good care of bone health when doing sports.
Calcium-deficient endurance athletes could suffer from osteopenia, relative energy deficiency in sports (RED-S), and calcium deficiency. These can negatively affect bone health, increasing bone weakness and fractures. But, of course, since we’re doing sports, this is the last thing you want to experience.
As runners, you repeatedly put a lot of stress on our feet and knees. It’s the very reason why we have to take even more calcium. The recommended calcium intake is around 700mg/ day for adults. It’s recommended to consume it before going to bed.
Everyone can get all the nutrients they need by eating a balanced diet unless faced with health conditions. However, dietary supplementation is advised when the necessary nutrient-dense diet isn’t met. Seek professional help for safe and best measures to meet athletic goals.