Nutrition becomes ever more important to athletic performance. The top athletes in every field these days get the best advice they can, and use a wide variety of supplements to give their bodies the edge in competition.
When Australian and New Zealand punters are considering an online sports betting guide, with an eye on placing a bet, they should also consider individual athletes and the supplements they use. Here’s a list of 18 of the most popular:
Best Muscle Building Supplements
- Whey protein, isolated from milk so the lactose intolerant can also digest it, is handy before and after workouts to promote protein synthesis and speed up muscle recovery.
- Creatine, a naturally occurring metabolite, promotes fast growth of lean muscle mass and increased performance, as well as faster post-workout recovery.
- Egg white protein, containing all the essential amino acids, is a good muscle builder too. Consume 10-30g both before and after a workout.
- Casein protein, also found in milk, is best taken after a workout, or just before bed. It contains all the essential amino acids.
- Beta-Alanine is a non-essential amino acid found in poultry, and taken as a supplement it prevents lactic acid build-up and delays muscle fatigue.
- Branched-Chain Amino Acids, like leucine, valine and isoleucine, are also great muscle-recovery supplements. They help keep the muscles fueled for endurance events, too.
- Glutamine also increases stamina in long-distance events or intensive workouts, by slowing muscle-tissue breakdown.
- Arginine, another amino acid, increases blood vessel dilation and allows for longer, more intense training.
Carbohydrate Supplements for Energy
- This will be anathema to the Banting/Atkins Diet crowd, but carbs mixed with water in sports drinks, for example, provide easily metabolised energy when you need a boost.
- Carbohydrate gels and polymer powders can be an energy-rich source of glucose.
- Carbohydrate-rich bars, some of which add nuts for added protein punch, are handy carb supplements on the go, without having to fiddle around with powders or liquids.
Smoothing Out the Rough Patches
- Probiotics found in milk, yoghurt and other dairy products are very effective in regulating gastric health, which in turn promotes athletic performance.
- Omega-3 fatty acids supplements like EPA, DHA and ALA can be helpful in reducing inflammation.
- HMB, a metabolite of leucine, decreases muscle damage and has anti-catabolic effects, making it easier to create lean muscle gains with resistance training.
- Melatonin supplements can help combat jet-lag and fatigue, but anyone with a history of epilepsy or migraines should not mix it with sleeping pills or warfarin.
- Athletes who trust alternative medicine and homeopathy report good results on cartilage degeneration and joint pain with the supplements glucosamine and chondroitin, but their efficacy has not been proven by scientific tests.
- Caffeine is a well-known stimulant, and a dose of 2-6mg/kg of body weight one hour before exercise will help you perform at greater intensity.
- Sodium citrate and sodium bicarbonate are used as ‘buffers’ by some athletes, to delay the onset of muscle fatigue and train longer. Beware, however: high doses may cause diarrhoea.