Sports supplements are nutritional products used to enhance athletic performance. They represent a range of substances – including vitamins, minerals, herbs, plant extracts, amino acids, and hormones and come in a variety of forms.
These ergogenic aids are widely used among athletes of all types to assist in providing the necessary capacity for increases in energy, power, endurance, and muscle mass to compete effectively.
Athletic performance notwithstanding, the ability to recover – maintaining and re-establishing normal physiological function, is readily improved with the use of supplements.
In the market today there is a huge range of sports supplements available to meet every possible nutritional and goal requirement.
However, at the core of any exercise or sporting regime the key elements of nutritional consumption revolve around sufficient protein, carbohydrates and fats.
Under intense exercise, the body requires far more protein than the body can readily consume through food alone to develop at an accelerated and efficient rate. The use of a protein powder or protein supplements is the most effective way for the body to gain sufficient protein for lean muscle gains.
Athletes will also need to consume complex carbohydrates and good fats alongside their protein intake in the correct ratio.
Creatine is also an important element to assist in muscle gains and the synthesis of protein. Creatine is naturally produced in the human body from amino acids primarily in the kidney and liver with approximately 95% of the human body’s total creatine located in skeletal muscle.
Those who are involved in regular and vigourous exercise will be in need of a constant supply of creatine to ensure the body can supply the need for an increased energy output.
Creatine supplementation will allow the muscles to exercise longer and harder by creating the required abundance that is unavailable through food consumption. This abundance of creatine subsequently stored in the muscle promotes the synthesis of protein as well as deter the breakdown of protein required to build muscle mass.
There are a number of forms of creatine with the most common being creatine monohydrate (creatine complexed with a molecule of water) and Creatine ethyl ester (CEE).