Should I be taking any sports supplements as an active or serious athlete, even if I am just at an amateur level currently?
The honest answer is “It depends.” There are (at least) several factors that will help you arrive at an informed and wise decision about this.
First of all, consider the wisdom of taking certain vitamins and minerals for your overall health and general athletic performance. There are at least a few excellent and well-documented reasons for this advice.
The typical American diet is inadequate in more than one key nutrient. Some of the most crucial deficiencies are calcium, potassium, fiber, Vitamin A and Folic Acid. One main reason causing the need for supplementation is the severe worsening of soil health in the United States.
Stress, caused by work and lifestyle issues, can dramatically increase the need to take certain vitamins and minerals – even if you are getting an adequate level through your diet – which has almost become rare for the majority of people. Another words, if even you’re adequate or good diet isn’t giving your body and mind the key vitamins and minerals it needs to function well, the answer is definitely to supplement.
Last, even if you are not a world-class or Olympic-level athlete, certain supplements can and will probably still help you improve your athletic performance in more than one way. My favorite example are some of the specific bodybuilding supplements used by active or serious athletes. At least one or more of these are worth your consideration, in my opinion. Some examples would include the following: creatine, whey (and some other types of) protein, and BCAAs or Branched-Chain Amino Acids and Glutamine. Please keep in mind that this is by no means an all-inclusive or complete list.
In future posts on this site, I will provide more information of a general nature for the great majority of athletes (even amateur ones) as well as athletes who are specifically using weights and other bodybuilding equipment and exercises to supplement their performance in their chosen sports.