Using supplements to improve endurance

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Supplements for endurance athletes

BULK POWDERS™ recognise that endurance athletes can benefit from supplements just as much as strength athletes and bodybuilders. Our range of products that are suitable for endurance athletes was of great interest to one of our latest product ambassadors, Team Swift Cycling.

Carbohydrates have been long recognised as a beneficial supplement to endurance exercise; however, this is not the only beneficial supplement. Below is a list of supplements and the potential benefits for endurance athletes.

 

Caffeine

Caffeine is research proven to boost endurance performance. Aside from increases in focus, Caffeine has other mental benefits, reducing the amount of effort a person believes they are applying to an event (rate of perceived exertion, RPE). Caffeine lowers RPE, allowing athletes to increase their pace or extend the duration of exercise. Caffeine also acts on resisting fatigue by blocking the action of adenosine (fatigue inducing molecule).

 

Creatine

Creatine is not only beneficial to strength athletes but also beneficial to endurance performers. Creatine can boost performance during interval training sessions. This in turn boosts fitness, VO2 max and recovery, which leads to improved endurance performance. Creatine can boost performance by providing the body with a greater ability to perform a sprint, allowing for you to overtake and sprint finish – many races are won and lost during a sprint finish.

 

Beta Alanine

Beta Alanine serves as an anti-fatigue agent. Beta Alanine has the ability to buffer lactic acid out of the working muscle, lowering the acidity level in the muscle which induces feelings of fatigue. This will allow you to perform at higher intensities for longer leading to improved endurance performance.

 

L-Carnitine and CLA

L-Carnitine and CLA both have the ability to induce fat oxidation. This is particularly useful in ultra-endurance events where carbohydrate stores become completely depleted, so much so that fat becomes the primary source of energy. You need to enable fat as a source of energy to sustain your endurance performance over extended periods of time.

 

Whey Protein

Whey Protein may be seen as `bodybuilding’ supplement but can also be used to great effect amongst endurance athletes. When pushing your body to the limits during training and competition your muscle fibres sustain micro-trauma. This damage needs to be repaired in order to recover and progress. To repair this damage you need a good quality source of protein to stimulate protein synthesis in the muscle. Whey Protein is the fastest absorbing protein with a great amino acid profile making it ideal to consume immediately post training in order to stimulate protein synthesis.

 

B Vitamins

Endurance athletes need to be able to metabolise a great deal of carbohydrate to provide the working muscles with energy. B Vitamins are essential to the mitochondria as they aid in the correct metabolism of carbohydrates. Therefore a deficiency in B Vitamins would result in issues with carbohydrate metabolism. BULK POWDERS™ B Vitamin Complex is an ideal supplement as it provides you with all the B Vitamins you need!

 

Montmorency Tart Cherry Extract

Montmorency Tart Cherry Extract can also be used to boost endurance performance. Tart Cherry Extract is a powerful antioxidant and has been shown to reduce muscle damage and inflammation caused by oxidative stress as a consequence of physical activity. The continued use of this product provides benefits to following endurance sessions.

 

Summary

The above isn’t an exhaustive list; it just gives an example of a few supplements that may be of benefit to an endurance athlete. While they may not directly improve parameters of endurance performance (such as VO2max, running economy, lactate threshold, etc), they may result in improved recovery, reduced muscle damage, increased energy metabolism and a reduction in perceived effort. All of which can lead to a greater training stimulus and improved performance.

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