What are sports supplements? A good question! Most people think of protein shakes, creatine, and amino acids when they hear the word “sports supplements”. This association is understandable, but not comprehensive.
Something we can all agree on is that nutrition – including sports nutrition – is primary. You use supplements in addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet. But what do you use if you are an athlete or perhaps even a professional athlete?
For a complete answer to this question, we have one of the leading companies within the specific sports supplement that they consider requested in sports supplements .
Sports supplements explained by Muscle Concepts
To gain more insight into what sports supplements exactly mean, we contacted Wesley Kelder.
As the owner of Muscle Concepts and as a fanatic athlete, he knows better than anyone what nutritional supplements for sports entail.
We asked him if he could explain the ins and outs of sports supplementation. Read more about Wesley's take on these supplements below.
“In the vernacular, a distinction is indeed made between ‘normal supplements' and so-called ‘sports supplements'. However, one must use supplementation to make up for a deficiency caused by a specific lifestyle. Whether this is in sports or everyday life should make no difference,” said Wesley.
He continues his explanation: “Athletes always consume more nutrients than someone who does not exercise and therefore need more of certain nutrients. There is therefore no unequivocal answer to the question of what a ‘specific sports supplement' is. We can say that certain supplements are more often more important and are therefore also sold more within the sports industry than other supplements.”
We asked him which sports supplements these usually are, after which Wesley continues his story.
“Think of proteins, creatine, aminos, multivitamins, and omega 3 fatty acids, for example. Other supplements that are extremely important for certain athletes are zinc, magnesium, extra high-dose vitamin C, and glucosamine preparations.”
Of course, we are also curious who should use which sports supplement. For example, should certain objectives be taken into account that someone wants to achieve?
“Each supplement can be used for one or more purposes. The latter ( supplements with glucosamine ) for example, prevent or support injuries and high-dose vitamin C since a lot of stress is put on the body by sport. Vitamin C helps to reduce or neutralize this stress. Vitamin C is one of the most important pawns here,” said Wesley.
And he continues his explanation about sports supplements: “In short, there is more behind the ‘proteins' and the ‘pre-workout, and so on. The trick is to get your body in the ideal balance when you perform extremely intensive efforts so that your body also needs more specific substances.” – Wesley Cellar of Muscle Concepts.
These sports supplements should not forget fanatic athletes
According to Wesley, several supplements are hardly or not used in daily life but are very interesting in sports.
Some examples of sports supplements are Arginine, L-citrulline, L-ornithine, beta-alanine, and of course creatine.
Many athletes benefit from using one or more of these nutritional supplements, but there are of course many other supplements for athletes.
Later, however, we will take a closer look at the previously described nutrients and supplements. Read on to find out what those substances are and what they can mean for avid athletes.
Arginine is a vasodilator. In other words, it increases blood flow so that the heart can pump more blood at a lower level. Theoretically, this translates into improved cardiovascular performance.
Arginine, for example, is found in meat and ensures, among other things, higher endurance and an improved muscle pump.
This sports supplement is often used by, for example, cyclists for extra endurance and by bodybuilders (higher dose) for a harder muscle pump.
In addition, arginine is regularly used for muscle building, as it can increase various hormone levels that can be linked to muscle growth.
L-citrulline and L-ornithine
The amino acid L-citrulline is gaining popularity as a supplement for improving health and exercise performance.
It is naturally produced in the body and found in foods, but taking certain sports supplements also increases L-citrulline levels in the body above normal levels.
Like L-citrulline, L-ornithine also falls under the non-essential amino acids. It is produced by the body but also occurs in various types of supplements.
So how can athletes benefit from supplementation of extra L-ornithine? Well, in addition to the fact that this amino acid removes waste from the body, it is also known as a means to increase your energy level.
The beauty of these two amino acids is that they both work together with arginine. They are in the same so-called “biogeochemical cycle”, which means that they complement each other effectively.
Beta-alanine is a popular sports supplement among athletes and fitness enthusiasts. That's because it has been shown to improve athletic performance and overall health.
It is a non-essential amino acid. Your body uses it to produce “carnosine,” which helps improve exercise performance.
Beta-alanine improves athletic performance by reducing fatigue, increasing endurance, and improving performance in high-intensity exercise.
Creatine falls under sports supplements
Many people have heard or read about creatine. But did you know that creatine is one of the most effective sports supplements? This is a substance that occurs in small amounts in meat. In addition, there are creatine supplements, which are the most researched by scientists.
Numerous studies show that it is a very effective sports supplement. As with other body substances, you can increase and decrease the amount of creatine in your body through supplementation.
We briefly summarize the advantage: your muscles can convert ATP into energy more quickly by increasing your creatine phosphate level.
This ensures that you can perform intensive exercises for a longer period of time, which is beneficial for strength training and endurance sports, for example.
Is taking a sports supplement something for you?
In this article, we have considered what sports supplements entail. We contacted Wesley Kelder about this. According to Wesley, sports supplements should only be used in addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet.
However, a sports supplement can offer many benefits. Obviously, each individual needs different nutrients. The required intake depends on factors such as the sport you practice, your age, your physique, and so on.
Therefore, it is wise to contact a medical specialist before radically changing your diet or adding sports supplements to your diet.
Think of a dietician or a nutritionist. They can help you gain insight into the nutrients you need every day. That way you can improve your sports performance healthily and responsibly.