Sport Supplements – Their Different Classes
The sport supplements market is a multi-billion dollar a year industry that spend an enormous amount of money on advertising online, in magazines and in sponsorship of professional athletes who openly endorse their use. The supplement companies introduce new pills and powders on a monthly basis and sometimes make some pretty bold claims of what to expect if you use them. It is becoming increasingly popular for teenagers to take sport supplements after being encouraged by coaches, trainers and their peers. This environment makes it hard for youth athletes to determine what they should be taking, when to take it and how much.
These are the general classes of sport supplements:
Diet products are arguably the largest market of supplements partly due to the increase in the obesity rate in North America. They are considered quite safe if taken correctly but you should still consult your doctor before taken them.
They tend to be a convenience item designed to replace or add to a meal with lower calories while still providing nutrients. Sports protein bars, meal replacements drinks, protein powders and sports drinks all fall in this class of supplement.
Another distinct area of dietary supplements is those that are used to treat a deficiency in specific nutrients in a person’s diet. Examples include multi-vitamins or minerals and certain nutrients on their own like iron or calcium.
This type of sports supplement is designed to improve performance in training and competition. They are specifically designed for adult athletes and should not be used by youth athletes. A large part of these products have never been tested on young, growing bodies so the long term effects are not known. Creatine monohydrate, caffeine pills, BCAAs (branched chain amino acids), and herbal products are all used for this purpose. Some are not considered effective due to a lack of scientific research.
The big draw in sales for sports supplements comes from the “quick fix” nature of their use. Use this product and you will gain muscle 3 times faster than without it, or lose 20 pounds in 2 weeks on this pill, etc. Some will even claim you can do these things with NO exercise. Not a claim I would say can be proven with science.
Many youth athletes are looking for an “edge” to be better, faster and to be able to be the best player on their team. They want to make an impact on their training towards being a pro player. They want to believe the claims are real and the supplements will make the difference in their career. Realistically a given sport supplement is not the answer. Building a really strong work ethic and solid skill development with focussed and consistent training is the only sure way to succeed. You also need to combine this with a strong diet foundation to fuel and recover from training. Combining all of this with a solid nutrition plan to fuel your body properly and you will be well on your way to achieving your goal safely.
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Jacques Delorme has coached for more than 25 years at all age levels and is a certified coach in five sports with a strong background in nutrition. He is the founder of this site. Would you like to be a GUEST AUTHOR? Let me know using the CONTACT FORM. Trying to gain muscle but do not want to gain fat in the process? Here is how I do it! – Click Here