Do Athletes Need to Take Supplements to Improve Their Performance?

Not only athletes, everyone who regularly exercises knows that adequate intake of nutrients and fluids is important to achieve optimal training results. Intake of carbohydrates, protein, and fat must be balanced and adjusted to the daily energy expenditure. However, you may be wondering whether supplements for athletes are needed to improve performance . Find out the answer below.

Are supplements for athletes important?

A study in the British Journal of Sports Medicine in February 2018 revealed that dietary supplements have a role in improving athlete performance, although the effect is not too large. Dietary supplements consumed must be appropriate and in accordance with the rules, so that athletes get the benefits they want to achieve.

Actually, the nutritional needs of athletes can be met by maintaining a healthy diet or undergoing a special diet according to each person’s needs. After all, there are no studies that can prove that supplements for athletes are more effective than natural food and drink sources.

However, there is no prohibition against taking certain supplements to help improve the performance and function of the body’s organs. So you can take supplements for athletes, provided you have consulted a trusted doctor, coach, health worker, or herbalist.

Choose supplements wisely for athletes

Currently, supplements for athletes are very mushrooming on the market. With various brands and their respective advantages, this variety of products makes athletes confused about choosing the right supplement. To make your choice easier, you have to be observant in looking at the content of supplements for athletes. Read carefully the composition written on the packaging.

Supplements for athletes may consist of various ingredients such as multivitamins , proteins, minerals, amino acids, or certain herbs. Usually a supplement will contain a combination of these ingredients. This supplement can be available in tablet, capsule, liquid, and powder form.

The most important thing in choosing a supplement for athletes is its composition. In various studies, ingredients that have benefits in improving athlete performance are:

1. Caffeine

Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase energy and reduce fatigue for several hours. The recommended dose for adults is 2-6 mg/kg body weight and not to exceed 500 mg per day. In adolescents, the recommended dose does not exceed 100 mg per day.

Increasing the dose does not necessarily improve the athlete’s performance, you are at risk of experiencing side effects. Caffeine should be consumed 15-60 minutes before exercising.


Creatine supplements will increase muscle performance in maximally contracting. Creatine is safe for consumption in the long term. However, creatine has the side effect of increasing weight because it has fluid retention properties in the body.

3. Sodium bicarbonate

During exercise, the muscles produce lactic acid which causes the muscles to become tired. Sodium bicarbonate has the function of reducing the production of lactic acid. This supplement is very useful for types of exercise with high intensity and short duration.

The recommended safe dose of sodium bicarbonate is 300 mg/kg body weight. This supplement should be taken 1-2.5 hours before exercising. Side effects that can arise in the form of digestive system problems such as nausea and vomiting and weight gain.

4. Nitrates

Nitrate supplements are useful for prolonging the duration of high-intensity exercise with only a short duration. Nitrates play a role in maintaining skeletal muscle function and increasing blood flow to muscles. Foods that are rich in nitrates are green vegetables such as spinach and kale. You can buy vitamin here

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