What are dietary supplements to improve exercise and physical performance and what are they for?
If you exercise regularly, and especially if you are an athlete and compete in sporting events, you should know that a well-balanced diet and plenty of fluids are important to maximize your physical performance. However, you might be thinking if supplements for bigger load could help you train better, improve your performance or gain a competitive advantage.
This fact sheet describes what is known about the efficacy and safety of consumption of many of the ingredients contained in dietary supplements that are promoted to improve exercise and physical performance. Sometimes these products are known as "ergogenic aids or supplements", but in this fact sheet we will refer to these simply as "supplements to improve physical performance." Merchants of these supplements could claim that their products improve strength or endurance, help them reach their performance goal faster, or increase their tolerance for more intense training. They could also claim that their supplements could help you prepare your body to improve exercise,
Supplements to improve physical performance cannot replace a healthy diet, but some of them may have some value, depending on the type and intensity of their activity. Other supplements do not seem to work, and a few could be harmful to health.
If you are considering taking a supplement to improve your physical performance, consult a health professional. If you have a coach with knowledge of sports medicine, ask about supplements to improve physical performance. It is important to speak with an expert if you are a teenager or have any medical condition. It is also important to know if the medications you take could interact with the supplements to improve the physical performance you are considering.
What are the ingredients in supplements to improve exercise and physical performance?
Supplements to improve physical performance can have many ingredients, such as vitamins and minerals, proteins, amino acids and herbs, in different amounts and in many combinations. These products are available in the market in several ways, including capsules, tablets, liquids and powders.
This fact sheet describes the ingredients found in the supplements below to improve physical performance in alphabetical order. You will learn about the efficacy and safety of consumption of each of the ingredients and find expert advice on its use. Keep in mind, however, that many of the supplements to improve physical performance in the market contain more than one ingredient, and the ingredients can act differently when combined. Because the combinations of most ingredients have not been studied, we do not know how safe and effective they are when it comes to improving performance.
You may be surprised to learn that, in general, the manufacturers of these supplements do not do studies on people to know if their products really work and are safe. When studies are conducted (mainly by researchers at universities) on the ingredients and combinations of the ingredients in the supplements to improve physical performance, a small number of people who are taking the supplements for only a few days, weeks or years are usually involved months Many of these investigations are carried out in healthy young men, but not in women, in middle-aged adults, older adults, or adolescents. And often, studies have not investigated the use of the ingredients or their combinations in people who perform the same physical activities as you.