Considering that some substances are banned for use by athletes is an indicator that they work to enhance performance, even something as widely used as caffeine.
I think the question is whether you should take supplements, and what is the reason for it.
I personally tend to agree with those who say that you should eat a balanced diet which provides all the encessary nutrition. Having said that, I also take a multivitamin because I know that I do not always do that.
When it comes to supplementation for enhance performance, I leave that question for everybody to decide for him- or herself. It never crossed my mind but I can see why people would be tempted.
The efficacy of most supplements are always in question but there are certain supplements that DO enhance particular aspects that will increase performance. They key to taking supplements is to make sure they are of high quality and whoever is takin them knows exactly what the ingredients do for the body. It behooves anybody that takes supplements to educate themselves.
I’m not sure if I buy into the idea of nutritional supplements enhancing performance. I think the physiology of performance enhancement deals more with substances that are a little more powerful and made in the body. Obviously, nutrition has an impact on that (watch SuperSize Me). However, I think that it might be too broad of a generalization, for me at least, to say that nutrition supplements or vitamins alone offer a measurably significant boost to performance.
Karin brought up caffeine. Do we consider this a supplement? If we do, then yes, supplements alone can increase performance in moderate amounts. If we don’t and we’re looking solely at vitamins, CoQ10, garlic, milk thistle, acai, major amino acids like l-lysine and l-arginine, maybe a b-complex.. I don’t think we would find too much evidence out there that these would increase performance. L-arginine, maybe would promote blood flow. You get into performance enhancement, I’m thinking testosterone, EPO, and to a lesser extent the stuff you can find at GNC (there are good ones and useless supplements at GNC in my honest opinion), and to an even lesser extent I think of cocaine and certain amphetamines, along with the most recent trend—“research” peptides.
Sport Performance and natural, safe performance enhancement are kind of areas of interest to me. I’m looking forward to seeing what others think about this.
Rough edged question but the answer really is yes AND no. There is a lot of garbage out there but there is, and has been for some time, some that make a difference. The thing with supplementaion is that it is to supplement what you aren’t getting enough of to enhance your performance. Overdosing is a big waste and often dangerous even in the most scientifically proven supplements (ex. creatine & fish oil.) I take a lot of vitamin C but that is for ME as its something that I personally need for improved performance. If someone is deficient in a vitamin or mineral then its best that their dietician recommend them to the proper source.
Of course nutritionists are going to attest to the usage supplements. Getting all you need from food is one thing (which I support) for the general population looking to better there health. However excelling and increasing performance is a completely different thing. When it comes to competition and performance athletes look for any advantage that can take them to the next level. Supplements have been document to increasing performance. Are they for everyone – No. But their efficacy has been shown in literature.
Fuel the Movement,