Supplements are very useful although they tend to work best when combined with a well balanced diet. Energy bars, gels and drinks are great at providing a short term energy boost but they should not be seen as a substitute for a healthy diet.
Sports drinks tend to contain sugars and sweeteners such as acesulfame-K and aspartame which give that all important energy boost. But, they have come in for rather a negative press! They have been reported as causing a variety of health problems, such as headaches and nausea and so should be avoided.
However, the Food Standards Agency (FSA) has ruled that sweeteners are safe for human consumption.
There are a wide range of supplements on the market which cover all types of requirements such as fat burning, muscle building, endurance and weight gain. They take the form of powders, drinks, gels and bars and are widely available.
They are make claims of improved athletic performance but evidence has been found which shows that some products work better than others. In other words, it’s a case of separating the reality from the hype. If you are considering supplementation then do your homework carefully. Many sports have strict guidelines about those supplements that are acceptable and those that are on a ‘banned’ list. You need to check beforehand as to what supplements are acceptable especially if you do competitive sport.
Sports Nutrition Guide Index:
- Sports Nutrition Intro
- Are nutritional requirements the same for every sport?
- Nutrition and types of sports
- Good food choices for sport and exercise
- The importance of carbohydrates
- But what is ‘glycogen?’
- How much carbohydrate do I need?
- Fluid intake
- How much water is enough?
- Sports supplements