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Most people are aware that supplements exist to boost their performance during workouts. However, many people are unaware of what these supplements are and the specific effects these supplements can provide them. The specific supplement you choose should take into account the type of exercise you do and the overall workout goals you possess for yourself.
Many industry experts feel there is no better supplement for individuals wanting to increase power than creatine. Research has demonstrated creatine is able to provide increases in strength, muscle mass, and acts as a testosterone booster.
Studies also show individuals taking creatine can expect strength gains from weight training that are five to ten percent higher than individuals who do not supplement with creatine. This effect is likely due to the role creatine plays in energy production systems.
Beta-alanine is an excellent supplement to combat muscle fatigue during workouts. The amino acid improves muscle performance by combatting the acid that builds up in muscles during high-intensity workouts.
Beta-alanine provides the best benefits for exercises that last from one to four minutes. The benefits are less evident when the exercise performed is less than sixty seconds. Preliminary studies suggest beta-alanine can also be beneficial to endurance training. However, not enough research has been performed to provide a conclusive assessment of this benefit.
You might be surprised to learn the baking soda in your pantry can help you during workouts. Sodium bicarbonate helps with endurance training by blocking the buildup of acids in the body. This benefits endurance training by calming the burning sensation felt by muscles during workouts.
In one study, sodium bicarbonate demonstrated the ability to improve the power output for test subjects performing a cycling test for 60 minutes.
Nitrate is converted by the body to a molecule known as nitric oxide. Nitrate is commonly found in vegetables like beetroot, turnips, and spinach.
Nitrate might improve the quality of workouts by decreasing the amount of oxygen consumed during exercise.
Research shows juice made from beetroot increased the duration individuals can run before becoming exhausted. Beetroot juice also increased running speed for individuals taking part in a three-mile run.
Supplements containing nitrates are an excellent selection for individuals interested in activities like cycling or running that require great endurance.
Caffeine can be found in coffee, tea, and other food products. The consumption of caffeine causes feelings of alertness and boosts energy levels. Caffeine has also proved capable of improving exercise in a variety of ways.
Caffeine can increase the ability of the body to generate the power and force needed to perform activities like weight lifting, cycling, and sprinting.
Caffeine also enhances performance during endurance exercises like running and stop and go activities like soccer.
The amino acid citrulline occurs naturally in the body. However, consuming foods or supplements containing citrulline can boost the body's available levels of citrulline.
Citrulline supports exercise efforts by helping muscles receive the oxygen and nutrition they need. In one study, cyclists were able to cycle 12 percent longer after supplementing with citrulline than cyclists who were given a placebo.
A second study showed participants performed 53 percent more reps during weight training after supplementing with citrulline.
The molecules valine, leucine, and isoleucine make up branch chain amino acids. BCAAs can be found in animal products and other foods that contain protein.
BCAAs have demonstrated the ability to support the efforts of distance runners and reduce both soreness and fatigue in muscles following workouts.
The Bottom Line
The knowledge regarding the role supplements play in workouts is constantly growing. And with so many contradicting opinions, it is often difficult to know which of these supplements is best for your specific situation. The seven supplements above are safe to consume and can provide benefits for all types of workout programs.