Types of dietary supplements - sports

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Supplement Value of Vitamins and Exercise Performance

 

Vitamins are organic compounds essential to regulating metabolic processes, energy production, neurological functioning and protection of our cells. Dietary analysis on active adults or athletes has reported vitamin deficiencies. Although research shows a possible benefit of taking vitamins for general health, there has been minimal to no ergogenic benefits reported. The following vitamins common to athletes have been researched as proposed nutritional ergogenic aids:

 

 

Nutrient Ergogenic Claim Research Findings
Vitamin A may improve sports vision no improvement in athletic performance
Vutamin B may help prevent bone loss helps with calcium absorption/co-supplement. Optimal amounts are necessary for regulating immune function, cardiovascular health, growth and repair, muscle health, and strength.
VitaminE may prevent free radicals adequate amounts decrease oxidative stress but more research required. Conflicting evidence of high dosing on athletic performance.
Vitamin K may help bone metabolism adequate amounts are needed for bone metabolism, protein found in muscles and found in cartilage. no improvement in athletic performance beyond adequate amounts.

Thiamin

(B1)

may improve anaerobic threshold doesn’t appear to enhance exercise capacity at normal intake

Riboflavin

(B2)

may enhance energy availability during exercise doesn’t appear to enhance exercise capacity at normal intake

Niacin

B3

may enhance energy metabolism, improve cholesterol and blunt fat stores shown to decrease cholesterol, triglycerides, and increase HDL, but doesn't appear to enhance exercise capacity at normal intake
B6 may improve lean mass, strength, aerobic capacity and mental focus well-nourished athletes show no improvement in athletic performance.

B12

may increase muscle mass and decrease anxiety no ergogenic effect reported

Folic acid 

may increase red blood cells for better oxygen to muscle and decrease birth defects found to decrease birth defects in pregnant women, but shown not to enhance athletic performance

 

Pantothenic acid

may benefit aerobic energy research reports no enhanced aerobic performance
Beta-carotene may help exercise-induced muscle damage may help decrease exercise-induced muscle damage, but more research is required for improved athletic performance
Vitamin C may improve metabolism during exercise adequate amounts help decrease oxidative stress and maintain immune system after heavy exercise. Vitamin C deficiencies show improvement in VO2 max when returned to adequate levels. High doses may compromise performance.

 

 

Supplement Value of Minerals for Athletes

 

Minerals are inorganic elements essential for metabolic processes, tissue structure and repair, hormone regulation and neurological function.

Research indicates active adults or athletes have been deficient in these important elements.

Mineral deficiency may negatively affect athletic performance and therefore supplementation may be helpful.

The following mineral supplements common to athletes have been researched as proposed nutritional ergogenic aids:

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Nutrient Ergogenic Claim Research Findings
Boron may promote muscle growth during resistance training no evidence currently exists to support this theory

 

Calcium

may promote bone growth and fat metabolism shown to stimulate bone growth taken with vitamin D and may promote fat metabolism. No ergogenic benefit for athletic performance.

Chromium

sold as chromium picolinate and claims to increase lean mass and reduce body fat recent studies show no improvement in lean mass or reduced body fat
Iron may help improve aerobic performance shown to only improve aerobic performance in athletes suffering from iron deficiency or anemia

Magnesium

may improve energy

metabolism/ATP availability

shown to only improve exercise performance in athletes suffering from magnesium deficiency. Acute changes occurs in moderate to intense exercise and must be considered in replenishing during long bouts of exercise, along with potassium and sodium.

 

Phosphorus (phosphate salts)

may improve energy systems in the body no ergogenic benefits reported alone. paired as sodium phosphate is show to increase maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic threshold, and improve endurance exercise capacity by 8-10%

 

Potassium

may help with muscle cramping no ergogenic benefits reported but acute changes occurs in moderate to intense exercise and must be considered in replenishing during long bouts of exercise, along with sodium and magnesium.

Selenium

may improve aerobic exercise performance improvements in aerobic exercise performance have not been demonstrated

Sodium

may help with muscle cramping and reduce risk of hyponatremia shown to maintain fluid balance during heavy training and prevent hyponatremia. Paired as sodium phosphate is shown to increase maximal oxygen uptake, anaerobic threshold, and improve endurance exercise capacity by 8-10%. Acute changes occurs in moderate to intense exercise and must be considered in replenishing during long bouts of exercise, along with potassium and magnesium.
Vanadyl sulfate (vanadium) may stimulate muscle growth, enhance strength and power not shown to have any effect on muscle mass, strength or power
zinc may reduce upper respiratory tract infections during heavy training shown to minimize exercise-induced changes to immune function during training

 

 

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General Health Supplements Suggested for Athletes


Maintaining good health for active adults and athletes is essential. It is suggested athletes supplement with a few additional nutrients to stay healthy during intense exercise. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends all Americans “ingest a daily low-dose multivitamin” to ensure proper amounts of nutrients in the diet. Although not recommended to enhance athletic performance, a multi-vitamin may be helpful for general health.

Dietary supplements are generally not required for the well-nourished active adult or athlete. Many ergogenic aids are unreliable and should only be considered after careful evaluation of effectiveness, potency, and safety. Extra caution should also be taken because these products are not regulated by FDA. However, sports supplements are here to stay and can play a meaningful role in your training program. Any supplement under consideration should be backed by chronic clinical studies and clear evidence of their health or ergogenic claims. In other words, become supplement smart for your health and athletic performance and consult a registered dietitian nutritionist or your healthcare provider if you have questions.

 

Prepared:
Neshat Khosravi - Microbiologist

 

Reference:

https://www.verywellfit.com/

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