This post is a nice addition to the what I’ve introduced to you back in October regarding In-season eating habits and what supplements to take. If you haven’t read the 3 part series, I strongly advise you read up and click here for the 1st part. Here for the 2nd, and finally here for the 3rd.
Now that you’ve got the just of what I think about supplements and eating in general. Below you’ll find a list of a few more supplements I recommend to athletes looking to fill the gaps and progress optimally in their performance/health status’.
By taking one serving with your shake or when extra greens are not available, it can help obtain ideal nutritional intake.
Creatine & Beta-Alanine:
Creatine Take 5g per day to help preserve muscle mass throughout the year. If possible, divide dose into two servings and take one 30 minutes before and one immediately after training or practice Beta-Alanine Take 4-6g/day to improve performance in prolonged high intensity activities.
A little background on Creatine:
There are 3 energy systems that you need to know about: ATP-Pcr (or ATP-PC), Glycolytic (anaerobic) and Oxidative Phosphorlyative (aerobic). The first, ATP-Pcr system, is ‘working’ during rapid and powerful movements lasting less than 10 seconds. This is the system affected by creatine supplementation.
ATP-Pcr system quickly replenishes the stores of adenosine triphosphate, or ATP, which provides energy to the working cells. Muscles have an existing amount of ATP hanging around ready for action, but not that much of it, merely enough for a just a few seconds of work. The ATP is broken down by removing one phosphate (P), This turns ATP into adenosine diphosphate (ADP).
To make more ATP, the muscles need to get the missing third phosphate from somewhere, quickly and that’s where creatine phosphate comes in. Creatine phosphate donates its phosphate so that ADP can become ATP again, but more importantly, so that you can finish that sprint!
Because creatine plays a major role in this system, more creatine means more potential ATP, which in-turn mean improved performance during short-term high-intensity tasks. Long-duration, low-intensity exercise however relies more on a different energy system, the Oxidative Phosphorlyative energy system.
This system is not enhanced by creatine.
In other words: creatine will help a sprinter and not so much a marathon runner. Another effect of creatine is the uptake of into muscle. Creatine also has a cell volumizing effect by drawing water into the cell.
Over the long term, this swelling may increase protein synthesis and glycogen storage. Both are a good thing resulting in increased recovery rate and prolonged peak performance.
A little background on Beta-Alanine:
Excessive increases in blood lactate have been shown to diminish performance with an associated decrease in coordination and skill. I’m sure you’ve felt that burning sensation in your legs before from lactic acid build up. In order to help regulate those lactic acid levels researchers have found a compound called ‘Carnosine’, which can buffer (slow down) the rise in hydrogen ions. This buffering of hydrogen ions can increase time to fatigue and VO2 max/oxygen uptake (that’s a good thing). Carnosine is a di-peptide that’s formed by the amino acids Beta-Alanine (BA) and Histidine.
Not only has it been found to decrease hydrogen ion production, ultimately increasing pH levels (i.e. lactic acid), but also acts as an antioxidant, and because of its hydrogen ion buffering it may can help improve muscle contractions improving work output!
I like both products very much, however if you are slightly deterred by the negative buzz surrounding these supplements I suggest you do some digging yourself. I can gladly steer you in the right direction regarding research studies on both.
If you are hesitant about Beta-Alanine, it can be taken in lower doses ~3-4g/day depending on the size of said teen. As far as creatine doses, they can be lowered to ~2-3g/day.
Glyco-peak, is designed as a peri-workout drink(pre, during or post-workout) to keep your energy levels and mental awareness at it’s peak. It contains zero caffeine or stimulant. Glyco-peak is mainly a combination of glycogen (broken down carbohydrates), amino acids (broken down proteins) and electrolytes to aid in replenishment of vital nutrients commonly lost during intense exercise.
When performing high intensity exercise, in training or game play, your body is rapidly depleted of carbohydrate stores (glucose and glycogen), amino acid stores (glutamine, BCAAs…), water and electrolytes (Sodium, Potassium…). Without theses vital nutrients your body’s ability to maximally produce force at high speeds deteriorates drastically, particularly in fast-twitch muscle fibers.
Bleow is a chart that explains how your energy system’s decline as you keep giving your all. Your body simply will not let you give 100% all the time.
Essentially you have 3 types of energy systems. After about 8-10 seconds of all out effort your ATP-PC system drops off. Your energy systems then change to the Lactic acid system or more commonly known as Anaerobic or Glycolytic system, lasting up to 2 minutes. Finally the Aerobic system comes in to save the day and keep you going for 2 minutes and more!
If the ATP-PC system would be a 100m sprinter, the Aerobic system would be an ultra-marathon runner.
What Glyco-peak does is remove the accumulation of hydrogen ions (H+) in the working muscles which cause debilitating fatigue, Replenish your ATP (adenosine tri-phosphate) stores, PhosphoCreatine (PCr) stores, Glycogenic substrates, and balance muscle pH (acid level of muscle) all of which help you go harder longer.
Not getting enough sun in the winter months? Take about 2000 IU’s/day to help with that. If you can somehow get your MD to check your levels so you can consume a dosage more individualized, I strongly encourage that. Vitamin D can play a huge role in preventing mid-winter blues you hear so much about.
Anything from your local grocery store should do the trick. Make sure however that it has some sort of vitamin C or calcium as it helps the uptake of D3 in the body. Teenagers may not have developed a deficiency of a Vitamin D as adults have…yet. So before downing 2,000 IUs of the stuff, it would be a pretty safe plan to get your levels tested by a doctor.
Do you have some supplements that you swear by?
Leave a comment below and tell me why. I’d love to hear what you think.
To your success,