Not all athletes want to, or do actually take sports supplements. That is for sure. As I mentioned in a previous post, my opinion is that every athlete – not only professional or world-class ones – can benefit from taking some forms of supplements. The ONE rule I have hardly ever seen fail is to first and foremost, do your best to tailor which kinds and dosages of supplements to take depending on your own individual differences.
Every person has their own individual differences that relate to their health, exercise(s) they are participating in, and environmental factors. If you do the best or a good job of taking these specific differences into account/consideration, I AM confident you can design and benefit from a supplemental plan. The two main ways any athlete – even just an amateur or recreational one – will benefit from taking certain supplements are 1) increased performance and 2) recovery time. Yet a third and very important one is protection against environmental pollution.
In the remainder of this post, I will begin to examine some of the choices or possibilities you have in examining and choosing certain sports supplements.
My Sport, Environmental, and Health Factors
When anybody exercises, they hope to gain some specific benefits from the sport they are active in and enjoy. That is one of the main reasons I have started this blog. The information, suggestions, and advice I have to give in my posts are strictly for serious athletes ONLY! If you do not exercise at all, or only do so to a minimal degree, I don’t think I can or will help you. Your dietary and supplement needs will be very different than the ones for people who actually participate or do phyiscal activities on a regular basis. Please keep this in mind.
Using myself as an example, here are some pointers and reasons why I am certain there are some supplements I benefit from taking. Oh, and as far as the exercises I do on a regular basis, they are (road) bicycling, running/jogging, bodybuilding, and bowling.
At over 70 years oldand in extremely poor health, it is a very big challenge for me to be able to do and enjoy the exercises I just mentioned. Except, maybe, for the bicycling and definitely the case for the remaining ones.
First of all, even though I try to eat the healthiest diet I can, I know the quality of the food I buy in the supermarket is NOT grown or raised in optimal conditions! No, not by a long shot.
Food that is grown in soil, water, or on trees is subject to chemical and environmental pollution and contamination. Thee is little rich, fertile, and healthy tiopsoil left anyplace in the world. The same can definitely be said for the poor quality and health of the earth;s land, water, and air. MY POINT HERE IS THAT THE IDEA OR BELIEF THAT YOUR DIET ALONE IS ALL YOU NEED TO MAINTAIN YOUR HEALTH AND THE BEST POSSIBLE RESULTS FROM THE EXERCISE(S) YOU DO IN A WIDESPREAD MYTH, PERIOD!! IT MAY HAVE BEEN TRUE IN THE PAST, BUT ABSOLUTELY IS NOT TRUE NOW.
When I add in the physical health factors like my chronic GI conditions, slim and weak frame, compromised immune and nervous systems, and others, I need to give myself all the help I can to get the benefits from the sports I enjoy.
In the city I live in, the air quality in particular, is horrible. The air is barely worth breathing or trying to breathe – espeically in the summer when I am trying to bicycle or run. I already spoke about the quality of lack of quality in the supermarket food I can afford to buy. This means that there are already two factors that are working against me getting the most I can out of the sports I like/love doing.
Last, but not least, is the bodybuilding exercise I do to try to build some (any, really) muscle mass and strength to my weak, old, and skinny frame. This is one exercise that I think shows the most promise for the careful use of supplements. Doing bodybuilding exercises also, of course, increases my ability to bicycle and run better. It’s a win-win situation all the way around, as far as I am concerned.
Let me continue by starting to examine and share some information on a small number of the most useful and effective supplements that may benefit any athlete striving go gain more from their favorite exercise(s).
WHAT ARE THE MAIN CATEGORIES OF SUPPLEMENTS AVAILABLE TO ATHLETES?
Your first consideration in choosing what kinds of supplements to take is to know what category of supplement you will be choosing from. Here are the main ones I will introduce and make some brief comments about: multivitamin, creatine, BCAAs, whey protein, glutamine, casein protein, fish oils, magnesium, insulin fiber, and vitamin D.
Multivitamin – even non-athletes need to take a good multivitamin supplement. As already mentioned, it is foolish and inaccurate to think that the typical American diet is sufficient to supply anybody with enough vitamins (and minerals) to maintain good health. In addition, the number of chemical ingredients polluting our food supply has grown enormously. This dual blow of environmental degradation and destruction, along with the poisoning of our food supply, makes taking a good mutlivitamin supplement necessary and not optional. Finally, athletes, due to the increased demand their exercise places on their bodies in different ways, also have increased needs of certain vitamins, minerals, and other nutritional substances.
Creatine – made up of amino acids for an athlete’s body to satisfy the increased need for power the particular sport places on him/her. Although your body produces its own supply, supplements are available in many forms such as bars, sharkes, and pills.
BCAAs (Branch Chain Amino Acids) – especially with athletes who are bodybuilders, this kind of supplement is very important. They are made of a carbon atom plus certain key amino acids that help muscles that have been broken down during exercise. A popular option among athletes lifting (heavier) weights and doing high-interval cardio training.Again, as with BCAAs, these type of supplements come in more than one form.
Whey Protein – for many years, this kind of supplement has been very popular with many athletes. They use this type of supplement to recover after their sport/exercise and help their protein synthesis. Another important use of the supplement is to aid your body’s metabolism and it comes in a wide variety of very good-tasting flavors.
Glutamine – useful as a post-workout snack in place of whey protein. It helps fight your body’s breakdown of complex molecules in its muscles. Helpful in athletes who are trying to incrrease the amount of weight they are able to lift.
Casein Protein – yet another protein that is released more slowly which helps them last longer in the body. It also helps your body’s matabolic rate, so it helps your body burn fat and build muscle at the same time.Once again, available as bars, powders, and drinks.
Fish Oils – fuel your muscles and essential for your cardiovascular health. In additon to the many kinds of fish oil tablets and capsules available on the market, you can also supply your body with these oils by eating some halibut, salmon, trout, or mackeral.
Magnesium – key to prevent muscle weakness and fatigue. Magnesium’s ability to do these things helps an athlete prevent injury during the sport or exercise. Also useful in helping you mainttain good mental health. Dark chocolate and avocados can supply this critical mineral.
Insulin Fiber –a soluble plant fiber that helps both your gut and heart healthy. It comes from onions, asparagus, and garlic.
Vitamin D – the “sunshine” vitamin that many people suffer from a lack of during wintertime. Necessary for building and maintaining healthy bones, as well as strong muscles. Easily available by drinking milk, in addition to getting enough sunshine.
Diet, Exercise, and Supplements All Help!
As I have tried to show in this post, it is extremely important to choose the approprite supplements if you are an athlete. In an ideal or perfect world, supplements might not be necessary, but this is simply not the case! We all live in a very toxic, fast-paced, and stressful world that significantly increases an athlete’s need to assist their body and mind’s abilities to gain the maximum benefits they are trying to achieve through their exercise.
A good – or even better – diet IS something every athlete and even those who aren’t should aim for. Likewise, regular exercise plays a major role in a person being as healthy as they can.
Supplements can fill in the gap that a poor diet and lack of (enough) exercise can cause. It is even more important for people who are athletes to supplement their diets and exercise. Much more so, as I said, in my individual case considering my poor physical/mental health, age, and environmental factors.
So, Where Can I Go To Get Safe and High-Quality Supplements?
The most obvious answer is a healh-food or vitamin store. What you might want to consider is the savings and convenience of buying your supplements online and that is where I come in.
I can and will do my best to provide readers with the most accurate, reliable, and timely information I can to help you choose whatever supplements you decide to use. You can be sure this will remain my goal.
Let me help you achieve the best results you can.