You have probably heard or read something about sports supplements. Whether you want to start exercising, have recently started exercising, or have been practicing a sport for quite some time… Supplements for athletes can be found everywhere.
That is not surprising, because the right supplements can make an important contribution to improving your sports performance. But which sports supplement should you buy? The large selection does not make it any easier.
That is why in this article we explain what sports nutritional supplements can do for you and what the 10 most used sports supplements are.
First some sports supplements explanation
A good sports supplement is a tool to improve your sports performance. Some supplements can achieve this better than others. This depends on many different factors, such as your lifestyle, the sport you practice, and your diet.
When there is a shortage of certain nutrients, it is important to remedy this as quickly as possible. Supplements can then offer the solution. If a nutrient deficiency results from playing sports, there are certain nutritional supplements for sale that have been proven to provide your body with the necessary nutrients quickly and effectively.
But there are also supplements for athletes that are used preventively; for example when it is necessary to feel more energetic during exercise or to gain more stamina. In other words, a sports supplement does not necessarily have to be used to eliminate deficiencies, but can also be used structurally.
Now that we have explained more about what sports supplements are, we describe the top 10 most used supplements for athletes below.
These 5 sports supplements are the basis for many athletes
Novice athletes often focus on improving their diet, which is very good. After all, nutrition serves as the basis for good health and ensures that your body can recover faster.
Many novice athletes also consider adding sports supplements to their diet. Purely to support and to give their body a helping hand. Are you curious which 5 sports supplements are most used by athletes? Then read on quickly, because we tell you everything about the supplements for athletes that are used by many as a basis.
As a result, you may feel tired after an intense workout. Of course, you want to avoid that at all times. To replenish depleted creatine stores, buying and using creatine can be an effective option.
Creatine is a very well-known sports supplement – not only in the Netherlands but also worldwide. When it comes to buying creatine, there are many different types of creatine supplements available. But what makes a creatine supplement so popular among athletes?
Well, it helps athletes in many different ways. Sports supplements with creatine increase muscle mass and ensure that muscle recovery is accelerated. In addition, supplementation of creatine can lead to an increase in your strength. This is confirmed by many studies.
After all, creatine supplements are one of the most researched nutritional supplements out there. Numerous studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of creatine for athletes. Most researchers agree that the effect of creatine makes a major contribution to improving sports performance.
Sports supplements with carbohydrates
Carbohydrates are extremely important during your workouts because they provide your body with energy. So carbohydrates can be seen as fuel for your body during exercise.
You can get carbohydrates quite easily through your diet, but avid athletes often need extra to provide their bodies with sufficient energy. Carbohydrate-rich sports supplements are ideal in that case. They can quickly meet the increased energy needs of athletes.
A sports supplement with complex carbohydrates is also often used by athletes who want to grow extra muscle mass. After all, your muscles need carbohydrates, among other things, to grow. Well-known supplements for athletes that contain carbohydrates are, for example, the so-called “weight gainers”.
If you decide to use a weight gainer, it is important to make sure that it does not contain too much sugar. Some brands add a lot of sugar to their weight gainers because it is cheaper than adding high-quality carbohydrates. In short, ideally, choose a weight gainer supplement with little or no added sugar.
When looking at the basis of supplements for athletes, dietary supplements with proteins take the cake. And there are good reasons for this association!
After all, your muscles need protein to recover. During intensive training, hairline cracks appear in your muscles. These are partly restored thanks to the proteins in your body.
In this way, your body can create more muscle mass and faster and you prevent your body from becoming overloaded. Consuming enough protein is a “must” and thus results in a real win-win situation. Using a sports supplement with proteins therefore not only leads to faster muscle recovery but also prevents injuries.
Omega 3 food supplements
Omega 3 supplements: they can be found everywhere these days – including in a sports supplement store. Many elderly people use a supplement with omega 3, but did you know that they are also very suitable as a sports supplement? You may be wondering why. We would like to explain that in more detail.
Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, omega 3 can prevent or reduce muscle soreness, inhibit temporary loss of strength after exercise, and improve muscle sensitivity in older adults.
The great thing about omega 3 supplements is that they are not only suitable for improving sports performance. After all, consuming it contributes to many other health benefits, such as improving the condition of your heart, skin, and blood vessels.
If you are looking for sports supplements that, in addition to sports performance, also improve your overall health, it is certainly advisable to consider adding an omega 3 food supplement to your diet.
A sports supplement with zinc
Zinc is an essential mineral for our mental and physical health. During physical exertion, the body loses zinc through sweat and increased metabolism. Regular training, therefore, requires an increased zinc intake.
This can partly be done by eating a diet rich in zinc. Pay attention to “partly”, because food alone can often not provide athletes with the correct zinc content. Buying and using zinc supplements can then be a good choice. There are many sports supplements for sale that contain zinc, but you can also choose to purchase a zinc supplement that contains pure and only zinc. In other words, without other nutrients.
What are the benefits of zinc supplementation for avid athletes? A healthy zinc level can not only improve sports performance but will also ensure that the body recovers faster and the immune system gets a boost. This is especially important after exercise when your body is more vulnerable to infection.
2 endurance sports supplements that endurance athletes love
When we zoom in on endurance sports supplements, there are two supplements that endurance athletes greatly benefit from. Of course, that does not mean that the previously described sports supplements are superfluous for endurance athletes. They too will benefit from adding the right nutritional supplements to their diet.
Nevertheless, the following two endurance sports supplements can improve endurance. It is therefore logical that endurance athletes are crazy about these nutritional supplements! Are you curious about which sports supplements for endurance athletes are involved? Then read on quickly.
Amino acids such as BCAAs and glutamine
Endurance sports supplements with so-called “BCAAs” (Branched-Chain Amino Acids) are well known among the amino acid nutritional supplements. BCAAs ensure on the one hand that you do not exhaust your body too much during long training sessions and on the other hand, they prevent muscle breakdown.
In addition to sports supplements with BCAAs, there are endurance sports supplements that contain glutamine. Glutamine is another amino acid that is very suitable for endurance athletes. Glutamine is the most abundant amino acid found in the bloodstream and muscles. But how does glutamine relate to sports supplements for endurance athletes?
This is how it works: In your body, there is a glutamine reserve, which is used in times of prolonged exertion – such as during endurance sport. A glutamine supplement then ensures that the relevant glutamine reserve is quickly replenished so that your body can recover faster and easier.
Caffeine supplements can also come in handy for endurance athletes. Many studies have shown that consuming caffeine supplements can temporarily improve endurance.
For that reason, some sports supplements contain caffeine, so that you get more energy and focus during exercise. It is important, as is always the case, to stick to the recommended daily amount. Do not exceed this.
After all, ingesting too much caffeine can backfire – it can make you feel nauseous and nervous. As an endurance athlete, you naturally want to avoid this. So use a caffeine supplement responsibly and safely.
These 3 nutritional supplements for athletes should not be missing
There are also 3 other nutritional supplements that many athletes benefit from. These serve more as a supplement to a good basis of sports supplements. Still, they can help you get more out of your workouts.
The last part of this top 10 will consist of multivitamin supplements, magnesium nutritional supplements, and pre-workout sports supplements. Are you curious about what these supplements can achieve for athletes? Below we tell you more about it.
Even though there are certain sports supplements for sale that have the same composition as multivitamins; you can also get a multivitamin supplement at the drugstore or a health food store. But exactly what benefits for athletes can come from the use of multivitamins?
For starters, a good multivitamin supplement will give your immune system a boost. This will in all likelihood make you less ill. This is of course very beneficial since it is not wise to train during or immediately after illness.
In other words, reducing the number of times you are sick by improving your resistance has a positive influence on your sports results.
In addition, a sports supplement with vitamins or a multivitamin preparation can make you feel more energetic – for example when you have a deficiency of one or more nutrients. By combating those deficiencies with a multivitamin complex, you can get the most out of your workouts!
Magnesium dietary supplements
Magnesium is one of the most important minerals for athletes, but it is often overlooked. If you practice a sport, then you would probably do well to add a magnesium food supplement to your daily diet.
But what makes magnesium supplements so important when it comes to choosing and using sports supplements?
Well, during exercise you need – depending on the sport – about 10% to 20% more magnesium than when you rest. This can lead to a magnesium deficiency – especially if you don't get enough magnesium through your diet.
In addition, magnesium-containing supplements help many athletes by removing lactate (acid residues of lactic acid) from the body. Lactate can build up during exercise, which can lead to fatigue and acidification of the muscles. An increased intake of magnesium through supplementation can prevent or reduce this.
Pre-workout sports supplement
Finally, there are a lot of athletes who consider a pre-workout supplement to be one of their favorite sports supplements. Pre-workout supplements, as the name might suggest, are meant to be taken before your workout.
To then benefit from it during your sports training, because these supplements for athletes mainly contain ingredients that result in more energy and focus. For example, you can do more repetitions of a certain exercise in the gym, or you can continue with an endurance sport for longer thanks to improved endurance.
The most commonly used ingredient in pre-workouts is caffeine, the benefits of which we have already described above for athletes. In addition to caffeine, many other substances can be used to manufacture a pre-workout.
It is wise to know exactly which substances are in these types of sports supplements because not all countries allow the same ingredients. For example, some ingredients in a pre-workout sports supplement are on the doping list in one country, but not in another.
Tips on buying sports supplements
Buying sports supplements should be done sensibly and responsibly. For example, you can seek advice from nutritionists, such as a dietician.
That person can, in consultation with you, see which sports supplements are of added value for you. A personal feeding schedule can also provide tools. It states exactly which supplements and foods you should use to get the most out of your workouts.
If buying sports supplements is something that keeps you busy, keep in mind that quality is more important than quantity. It is better to spend a little more money on a reliable and good sports supplement than to end up buying a supplement for athletes that turns out to have little or no effect after a while.
Top 10 most used sports supplements summarized
First of all, in this article, you have been able to read what is meant by “sports supplements”. Supplements for athletes are intended to take an athlete's sports performance to a higher level.
A sports supplement can be used structurally on the one hand and only used when there is a shortage of one or more nutrients on the other. In this way, the body of a fanatic athlete can be supplied with the right nutrients, which has a positive influence on his or her training and health.
In addition, we have described a dozen sports supplements in this article that are most used by athletes. There are some supplements for athletes that can be seen as the basis, such as protein supplements, dietary supplements with carbohydrates, and creatine supplements.
But endurance athlete supplements have also been discussed. Two types of nutritional supplements are very suitable for endurance athletes. These are the amino acids and the caffeine supplements. Good amino acids ensure that the body is less likely to sustain injuries and that your muscles can recover better. The supplementation of caffeine also results in more energy and focus.
Finally, three sports supplements have been discussed that are popular among many athletes, such as pre-workouts, multivitamins, and magnesium nutritional supplements. A pre-workout supplement helps to increase energy levels, while multivitamins and magnesium supplements result in the replenishment of important nutrients.