Top Sports Nutrition Supplements
Whether you are a competitive athlete or a weekend warrior, getting results from your workouts comes down to more than just the work you put in at the gym. In fact, combining a nutritious diet with a few top supplements for athletes can help give you a serious edge over your competitors while upgrading your performance by increasing strength, metabolism and muscle mass so you can make the most of each gym session.
A healthy diet is fundamental to athletic performance and can often supply all the vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that your body needs to succeed, whatever your sport or physical activity of choice may be. However, adding a few nutritional supplements for athletes can bring your strength and stamina to the next level, supplying extra micronutrients that you may be lacking or that you cannot get from food sources alone.
Although the benefits can vary based on which supplements you take, the top supplements for athletes are generally used to:
- Increase Energy
- Enhance Strength
- Promote Muscle Recovery
- Decrease Body Fat
- Support Weight Loss
- Boost Metabolism
- Protect Bone and Joint Health
- Relieve Inflammation
Top Supplements for Athletes
Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body and is found throughout the bones, muscles, skin, ligaments and tendons. Unfortunately, as we get older, the amount of collagen that our body produces starts to decline, resulting in symptoms like joint pain, skin problems and slower healing and recovery. Supplementing with collagen is a great way to combat the natural signs of aging and bump up collagen levels in your body to get quicker results.
Studies show that collagen can relieve joint pain, increase bone mineral density, increase lean body mass, and help enhance heart health by decreasing arterial stiffness and increasing levels of beneficial HDL cholesterol.
Without question, whey protein ranks as one of the most popular and most effective dietary supplements for athletes and taking it as part of a post-workout meal or snack can help stimulate muscle synthesis to bring your workout routine to the next level. Plus, it is a good alternative to other supplements like protein tablets because it is easy to add to shakes and smoothies and can provide a more concentrated dose of protein in every serving without having to swallow several capsules or pills at a time.
With some sources estimating that a whopping 41.6 percent of the U.S. population is deficient in this essential micronutrient, Vitamin D is one of the most important vitamin supplements for athletes on the market. Vitamin D is found in few food sources and is synthesized by the skin as a result of sun exposure, but for older adults and those who are overweight, have darker skin or get limited sun exposure, the risk of deficiency gets even higher.
Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Omega-3 Fatty Acids are a type of heart-healthy fat that have been linked to a long list of potential health benefits. Besides improving heart health by keeping cholesterol levels in check, omega-3 fatty acids can also enhance immunity and soothe inflammation.
Fatty fish varieties like salmon and tuna fish are great natural sources of omega-3 fatty acids, but fish oil is also available in supplement form for a quick and convenient way to get your fatty acid fix each day. There are also several omega-3 fatty acid supplements for vegan athletes as well, such as algal oil, which is derived from omega-3-rich algae.
Glutamine is an incredibly important amino acid that is frequently considered one of the best supplements for endurance athletes. It has been shown to promote healthy healing and is also used to provide energy for the cells in the immune system.
Supplementing with glutamine reduced muscle soreness and helped speed up recovery post-exercise. Coupled with its healing, immune-boosting properties, glutamine is a must-have if you find that you suffer from frequent aches and pains following your high-intensity workouts.
Creatine, specifically creatine monohydrate, is one of the best supplements for those looking to build strength and increase muscle mass fast. Over 500 studies have been conducted on the effects of creatine supplementation, with about 70 percent demonstrating that creatine has significant ergogenic properties, meaning it can help boost performance, stamina and recovery.
Sports supplements should be used to supplement a healthy and balanced diet. When used correctly, they can bring a host of health benefits and help enhance your performance both in the gym and on the field.