Regardless of the intensity of your workouts – professional or recreational – the body needs support based on dietary supplements.
But there is a big difference between conventional supplements and supplements for athletes, despite the fact that the active ingredients are almost the same. There is a rational explanation for this: the synthesis (or source / method of obtaining) of a particular ingredient differs.
Let me demonstrate with an example: ascorbic acid is obtained from rose hips, citrus fruits, some vegetables and other plant products, which contain “ascorbic acid” in abundance.
In the production of conventional supplements, only one of these sources is used, while in production for athletes, the same ingredient is synthesized from several sources.
Accordingly, the difference in methods is reflected in the quality: supplements for athletes contain additional active elements, which allow the ingredients to be better and faster absorbed without “conflicting” with each other (when one ingredient is not absorbed in combination with another).
This is where the difference in cost comes from. Laboratory synthesis for specialized supplements is more expensive than for classical ones.
Now I will tell you in detail which ingredients determine the useful composition of the supplement, and which complexes show the effectiveness among athletes.
Briefly about the classification of supplements: what are they and how effective are they
Formally, supplements are organic compounds of various origins (those that we get from foods of various origins, and those that are synthesized from them).
These ingredients are necessary for the healthy functioning of the body, especially for athletes. They must simultaneously maintain health and achieve success in sports, regularly experiencing tremendous physical exertion.
Vitamins (micronutrients in diet) are representatives of vital substances along with fats, proteins and carbohydrates (that is, macronutrients).
The human body is not capable of synthesizing them on its own, with the exception of a negligible amount of vitamin D, which enhances immune defenses.
All vitamins are distinguished by the quality of their solubility, so they are divided into:
*Water-soluble – freely mixed with water, easily dissolved in it. They are quickly excreted from the body. Represented by vitamins B and C.
*Fat-soluble – dissolve only in fats, do not interact with water. They are cumulative in nature, so they last longer in the body. Represented by vitamins A, D, E, K.
The biologically active complex also contains minerals – microelements (potassium, phosphorus and others) and microelements (iron, selenium and others). They contain 0 calories, so they do not provide energy, but they perform a key function in the absorption of fats and carbohydrates, which are the main source of “fuel” for the body.
By the way, these same beneficial substances help to restore muscles, synthesize proteins during increased loads, acting as coenzymes a kind of catalyst for active metabolic processes.
For example, vitamin B performs this function. If there is enough of it in the body, training is highly effective. On the contrary, the deficiency of this element leads to difficulties with endurance, negatively affects the reserve of physical strength.
What vitamins do athletes drink, desirable ingredients of the complex
To make the training effective and at the same time protect the joints and ligaments from excessive stress, it is important to know about the functions of a particular vitamin.
The main ingredients that should be present in the formation of the complexes:
*Vitamin A. Helps to synthesize the protein necessary for the growth of muscle mass. Promotes the production of glycogen, an additional source of energy.
* Vitamin B1. Provides active oxygenation of cells and tissues. Participates in the formation of hemoglobin.
*Vitamin B12 (cobalamin). Provides muscle performance, is responsible for protein-carbohydrate metabolism and supports the healthy functioning of the nervous system.
In addition to the key “participants”, the complex contains various additives that help to recover after a workout, and make the next one as effective as possible.
Examples of additives in the complex:
*Riboflavin – to increase energy metabolism. In a small amount from the daily norm, this ingredient can be obtained from fermented milk products, herbs and green vegetables.
*Pyridoxine – is involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates and fats, making this process the most qualitative. It is especially important for athletes who use steroids.
*Cyanocobalamin – enhances metabolic processes (in particular, fat metabolism), participates in hematopoiesis, improves brain function, and prevents the development of diseases of the central nervous system.
*Levocarnitine – enhances the body’s endurance, promotes increased breakdown of fats.
Even recreational sports, not to mention professional ones, are always a risk of injury, sprain or damage to the joints.
To increase stamina and speed up recovery, take restorative supplements. The following ingredients may be present in this complex:
*Ascorbic acid – enhances immune defense, promotes rapid recovery.
*Choline (aka B4) – allows faster transmission of brain signals to the muscles. This helps to control tension in the muscles, to manage them qualitatively.
*Vitamin D – is responsible for phosphorus-calcium metabolism, makes bones and joints strong.
*Vitamin K – improves the properties of blood, increasing its clotting (protection against bleeding in case of injury).
Finally, high-quality supplements should contain amino acids, which make the body more resilient, accelerate the growth of muscle mass, etc. In fact, these ingredients are used for the express delivery of “muscle fuel”.
Their action allows for 15-20 minutes (instead of the standard 180, which give protein shakes) to achieve the goal – to enter the muscle mass in order to replenish the protein supply.
Which amino acids are desirable to take depending on the goals and objectives of the athlete:
*Arginine. It converts fats into energy, enhances metabolic processes and acts to reduce pain in muscle tissue. Improves the state of the central nervous system, making the athlete stress-resistant.
*Leucine. Makes bones stronger. Controls the integrity of protein structures, preventing them from being destroyed. Promotes the regeneration of muscle fibers.
*Isoleucine. Maintains the condition of the muscles during training, makes the body more resilient. It also controls blood sugar levels and has a positive effect on the emotional background, reducing anxiety (this is especially important on the eve of competitions).
*Histidine. It makes the muscles more prominent, reduces the likelihood of developing muscle anemia and the destruction of the structure of muscle tissue during training.
*Phenylalanine. Promotes the regeneration of damaged tissues (ligaments / tendons in particular), enhances collagen synthesis.
*Valin. It helps to restore muscle tissue faster, is responsible for precise coordination of movements, and makes the body more resilient.
*Glutamine. It has a positive effect on the emotional background, supporting the psychological state of the athlete. Strengthens the immune system and enhances protein metabolism.
*Taurine. Responsible for visual acuity and maintains the health of the nervous system. Helps reduce the risk of muscle breakdown after exercise, protects the cardiovascular system from “breakdown” and controls the conversion of large amounts of protein into fat.
Pharmacy supplements for athletes are a serious set of useful elements that is advisable to choose after consulting a dietitian or nutritionist. The specialist will select an effective complex specifically for your body so that training can bring the desired result.
Top best multivitamins and supplements for athletes
We repeat, it is important to choose a complex of supplements for athletes with a specialist, a nutritionist or a personal trainer.
So you buy supplements not at random, but with a clear idea of the state of the body and the level of upcoming loads, where the supplement should work exclusively for the benefit.
Ideally, it is better not to be too lazy and take tests, to check if there is a deficiency / excess of certain substances in the body. These simple activities will help you choose the best supplement complex to meet the needs of the body.
- Vita Jym (JYM Supplement Science)
It occupies the first lines in the ranking of effective supplements for athletes, since it contains the most verified dosage of the necessary substances to achieve great results.
*The composition of the supplement includes vitamins A, B, C, K, micro and macro elements, which are perfectly absorbed in the body.
*Vitamin A is represented by beta-carotene.
*Vitamin K – menaquinone (K2). This is the most effective combination of substances for the endurance and vigor of an athlete.
*The manufacturer did not include substances such as calcium, zinc and magnesium in the complex, since they create obstacles for the absorption of amino acids and some trace elements.
Strictly not recommended for use by persons under 18 years of age.
Dosage and suggested use: take 1-2 tablets per day during breakfast.
- Vita Formula (Ironmam)
Created on the basis of natural ingredients without the addition of dyes and other additives
*The complex contains a full range of B vitamins, which are represented by thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), pyridoxine (B6), pantothenic (B5) and folic (B9) acids and others.
*They contain an effective combination of minerals and enzymes that contribute to the full assimilation of all components of the complex. Vita Formula makes an athlete energetic, hardy, promotes accelerated muscle mass gain.
Dosage and suggested use: ake1 tablet per day
- Orange Triad (Controlled Labs)
The complex protects ligaments and joints from destruction, promotes accelerated recovery of muscles and tendons after training.
*The complex includes almost 50 useful substances: from key vitamins A, B, C, D, E and K, micro and macro elements of extracts of berries and fruits, which are aimed at supporting the immune system, psycho-emotional state.
*Phyto-extracts improve digestion, increase immunity, keep the body in good shape and give a boost of energy.
*Hyaluronic acid in combination with bromelain, which are part of the drug, create an anti-inflammatory effect.
Against the background of taking this drug, it is recommended to organize protein nutrition – this will enhance the result of training.
Dosage and suggested use: Take 3 tablets twice per day
- Armor-V (Muscle Pharm)
The name “Armor-V” literally means “armor”, which is no coincidence: the components were carefully selected taking into account the intensity of training and the ratio of the load in the competition (psycho-emotional, physical).
The complex significantly increases the performance of the athlete, contributes to the rapid recovery of the body after exercise.
*The supplement organically combines omega fatty acids (vitamins of group B) with probiotics, folic and pantothenic acids, vitamins A, C, D, E and a dozen other useful ingredients.
*Provides muscle tone, protects muscles from pain (or catabolism, when there is an active splitting of complex substances into simple ones).
*The complex was created on the basis of fruit and vegetable concentrates, which are represented by natural antioxidants, minerals, polyphenols, enzymes and other compounds necessary to maintain health.
Dosage and suggested use: Take 6 capsules per day during breakfast or 3 capsules 2 times a day.
- Animal Pak (Universal Nutrition)
The complex is designed specifically for bodybuilders, powerlifters and other categories of athletes who want to get powerful dedication, while maintaining endurance and getting a surge of strength.
The manufacturer calls this multivitamin complex No. 1 among sports supplements. Reviews about it show that the statement is not unfounded: the effectiveness of the drug is highly appreciated by both men and women involved in sports.
The complex includes 11 minerals, 19 amino acids and vitamins A, B, C, D, E, which support high performance during intense training and competition.
It comes in powder for preparing a drink with a variety of pleasant tastes (by the way, the supplement is suitable for combination with other sports supplements, check with a dietitian for advice).
Dosage and suggested use: Take 1 sachet per day 30 minutes after a meal (before an upcoming workout).
- Opti-Men (Optimum Nutrition)
The complex is actively involved in the regeneration of muscle tissue, promotes muscle building. Designed specifically for the needs of the male body. It has an anti-inflammatory effect, helping to recover from high-intensity workouts.
Food enzymes in the complex accelerate metabolic processes and improve the functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, helping to fully absorb sports nutrition.
The complex contains minerals, vitamins A, C, D, E and K, plant and marine extracts, enzymes and amino acids necessary for the body.
Dosage and suggested use: 3 capsules (tablets) per day during meals.
- Animal Parade Gold (Nature’s Plus)
Multivitamin complex for the youngest athletes. If the child knows how to chew you can take vitamins from the age of 3.
The complex is represented by the ingredients necessary for the development of child: vitamins (including D3), minerals, micro and macro elements, probiotics, enzymes and other natural substances from whole foods.
The complex is presented as chewable tablets in the form of multi-colored animals with pleasant tastes.
By the way, the drug is completely hypoallergenic and does not contain gluten (but as reviews have shown, in rare cases there is a strong allergic reaction, be sure to consult your doctor before buying).
Dosage and suggested use: 2 tablets per day.
- Sustamin (Academy-Т)
The drug is designed specifically for athletes to make joints and bones stronger, speed up recovery from various injuries of the musculoskeletal system. Reduces pain in muscles.
Suitable for athletes with different levels of activity. As a prophylactic, it is recommended for physically active people over 40 years of age.
*It contains natural ingredients in a balanced amount, which have a complex effect on the metabolic processes inside the cartilage and bone tissues, ensure their normal functioning and recovery.
*Saturates the body with B, C, D and E vitamins, minerals, collagen and other biologically active compounds.
Dosage and suggested use: 3 capsules 2 times a day for 2 months (2-3 courses are acceptable during the year).
- Ultra Men’s Sport Multivitamin Formula (VPLab Nutrition)
Vitamins provide the athlete with endurance, contribute to the high-quality production of male hormones, and build muscle mass. Reviews suggest that the complex really works: health improves, strength is added, immunity is strengthened.
The basis of the drug is represented by vitamins A, C, D, E and K, an amino acid mixture, an extract of fresh vegetables and fruits, ingredients to improve memory functions, as well as elements to maintain male potency.
Dosage and suggested use: Take 1 capsule 2 times a day.
- Alpha Men (Myprotein)
Vitamin complex to increase energy, performance and endurance. Also, vitamins contribute to the recruitment and preservation of muscle mass.
*Selenium, which is part of the complex, increases immune defense, vitamin B5 gives strength, relieves fatigue.
*Contain the daily rate of calcium and phosphorus aimed at protecting bones and joints, making them stronger, reducing trauma.
Dosage and suggested use: Take 1 tablet 2 times a day with meals.
Things to keep in mind when choosing a vitamin complex
The intake of vitamins for athletes is distinguished by an enhanced formula, depending on the state of health, there may be contraindications (some complexes are contraindicated for pregnant women, diabetics, with allergies to certain ingredients of the complexes and some other restrictions).
Before use, make an appointment with a dietitian. This will not only help maintain health, but get the most benefit from vitamins during training.
The doctor will select the supplement individually, including the method of administration, oral or intramuscular injections (relevant for professional athletes, since the method of administration and dosage are reflected in the increase in athletic performance).
Approach the choice of healthy supplements wisely and be healthy!