Supplementing for sports performance can be tricky because sports demand so much from you. Strength. Stamina. Speed. Coordination. Problem solving abilities. Teamwork. The list could fill a phonebook. No single supplement can offer all these attributes, which means you’re better off taking a small medley of functional products that can offer you a helping hand and support your performance goals. Looking for products and ingredients that have research to support their claims is key, and to make sure the amount of the ingredient used in the product matches the study to achieve the effect you want. These are some of the things you should keep in mind when using supplements for your sports performance.
Focus on recovery
You can only train as hard as you can recover. Minimizing the damage done from big games or fierce training sessions can help you repeat the process the following day. Some of the supplements that are good at achieving this include creatine, protein, electrolytes and omega 3’s.
Energize the right way
Our quest for energy in life and on the sports pitch is endless. We want more of it, regardless of the cost. That said, you can have too much energy which can leave you feeling jittery and ill prepared for optimal sports performance. Caffeine has a proven track record but it’s wise to only have a limited amount or it can leave you feeling anxious and decrease your performance. Pre-workout supplements are on the rise but be wary of stimulant products as many include banned substances. Non-stimulant products offer calm energy that often comes from the likes of ginseng, B vitamins, Beta-Alanine or BCAAs.
Take care of your immune system
Sport is stressful. It stresses your mind and body in equal parts. While it’s up to you to fight the mental demons, a good supplement routine can support your immune system and protect it from being compromised thanks to a high exercise load. Supplements like vitamin D, echinacea, zinc and turmeric can help keep your body in the best possible shape and support your overall health especially during times of stress and rigorous training.
Always focus on quality
You want all of your supplements to give you the doses that work. This means making sure they’ve got enough of the active ingredients as well as making sure they don’t have hidden banned substances. To safeguard yourself, look for third party testing certificates such as the Certified Drug Free program from the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) who have decades of experience in anti-doping and sport drug testing. BSCG brings the Olympic standard in drug testing to your supplement certification. This is done through their analytical testing of finished product brands, ingredient suppliers and manufacturing facilities that help make sure sports teams and leagues, athletes and consumers can verify that the quality of ingredients meet expectations and are free of banned substances. This critical information helps ensure your sports supplements aren’t contaminated with any of the 505 drugs or other harmful agents on BSCG’s testing menu which is now the world’s most comprehensive third-party testing certificate. This protects you against health concerns or a positive drug test. Look out for the BSCG seal to know you’re supplementing in the safest way possible thanks to their comprehensive testing approach.
It’s worth learning how to navigate the minefield of misinformation about the emerging field of supplement science. Make sure you do your research before choosing the helping hands that’ll make you go faster, longer and be fitter than the next guy. Ready? Set. Go.