At PULS Nutrition, we are often asked whether supplements are of any benefit. Why do you need protein powder when you can get the protein you need from steak? We think it's an excellent question and in this blog we'll tell you what we think supplements are for and what the most important sports nutrients are for the exerciser.
Supplements are commonly used to supplement and improve nutrient intake by providing essential vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that may be lacking in the diet. A food supplement is, as the name suggests, a supplement. It helps to bridge nutritional gaps, ensuring that the body gets the nutrients it needs to function optimally.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts can use supplements to improve their performance and enhance recovery. For example, creatine is a popular supplement that has been shown to improve strength and power during high-intensity exercise. Here are 5 reasons why we think supplements are needed:
1. Busy schedules and goal-oriented lifestyles can make it challenging to maintain a balanced diet on an ongoing basis. Dietary supplements offer a convenient and effective way to ensure adequate intake of certain nutrients.
2. Certain life events, such as weight loss, stress or health conditions, may require the supplementation of certain nutrients. Supplements allow for targeted support, addressing specific needs and promoting general well-being.
3. Athletes and active dieters often use supplements to enhance performance, support recovery and meet the increased nutritional demands associated with intense physical activity.
4. People with special diets may find it challenging to obtain certain nutrients that are mainly found in animal products. Supplements can provide these essential nutrients and ensure a balanced nutritional profile.
5. Ageing can affect the absorption and metabolism of nutrients. In particular, a protein supplement is useful to ensure adequate daily protein intake in ageing. Supplements can be particularly useful in supporting bone health, cognitive function and general vitality in ageing adults.
What are the most important supplements for athletes?
The most important supplements for training can vary according to individual needs, goals and eating habits. However, there are some commonly recommended supplements for people who engage in regular physical training. Here are our TOP 7:
1. Whey protein is a rapidly absorbed complete protein, which means that it contains all the essential amino acids that the body cannot produce on its own. This makes it useful for building muscle, especially after intense exercise. If your protein of choice is a plant-based protein, make sure it contains multiple protein sources to provide the most complete or preferably complete amino acid profile possible.
2. Creatine has been shown to increase muscle strength and power. It improves physical performance in successive short duration, high intensity exercises such as weightlifting or sprinting. The effect is achieved at a daily dose of 3 g. Creatine supplementation may also help muscle recovery by reducing inflammation and cell damage associated with intense exercise.
3. Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are a group of three essential amino acids: leucine, isoleucine and valine. These amino acids are essential because they cannot be produced by the body and must be obtained from the diet. Leucine plays a crucial role in triggering muscle protein synthesis. BCAAs can also help reduce muscle soreness and speed up the recovery process after intense training. During prolonged or intense exercise, BCAAs can be used as a source of energy. They can be broken down in muscles to provide fuel when glucose levels are low. BCAAs may also help with weight loss by promoting fat oxidation and maintaining lean muscle mass.
4. Beta alanine is a non-essential amino acid used specifically in sports involving high-intensity, short-term activity. Beta alanine may delay the onset of muscle fatigue, allowing athletes to maintain higher levels of performance for longer. By improving the body's buffering capacity, athletes can experience higher training volume and intensity, which may lead to better long-term performance gains.
5. Carbohydrates are the body's primary and most efficient source of energy. Reduced glycogen levels can lead to fatigue and poor performance, but carbohydrates are stored in muscle as glycogen, preventing fatigue. When you consume enough carbohydrates, your body is less likely to use protein as an energy source and your muscle mass is better preserved. Consuming carbohydrates after exercise will help replenish glycogen stores, promote muscle protein synthesis and facilitate overall recovery.
6. Electrolytes such as sodium, potassium and chloride help regulate the balance of fluids inside and outside cells. This balance is essential for proper cellular function and overall hydration. During intense physical activity, the body loses electrolytes through sweat. Electrolytes also play a very important role in muscle contraction and relaxation. Imbalances can cause muscle cramps, weakness and fatigue.
7. Caffeine has been shown to increase endurance and stamina during exercise. This is why caffeine is found in many pre-workout supplements.
PULS - high-quality supplements for sports
PULS Nutrition is a Finnish company born out of the need to combine a busy life with a functional diet to support it. At PULS, we believe that sports nutrition,
-drinks and snacks are not just for elite athletes, but can benefit physically and mentally everyone who lives life to the full. PULS Nutrition's range of supplements and snacks includes all the essential supplements and snacks for the exerciser. Each PULS product is designed to support a mobile lifestyle and its goals. Experience what an active life can taste like at its best! #Fuel for the passionate ones.