So long as the dietary fundamentals are in place, the use of sports supplements such as carbohydrate drinks and gels, protein and caffeine can play an important role in boosting performance and aiding recovery.

In this section, you’ll find the most up-to-date scientific information on when to consider supplementation, and how this should fit into an overall dietary plan.”

A morning cuppa for recovery

in Nutrition for endurance athletes, Recovery nutrition, Supplements

Unlike many sports supplements on the market, caffeine has been rigorously tested and proven to improve endurance performance – especially during longer events. By stimulating the central nervous system, caffeine can fight fatigue, which helps maintain performance during the later stages of exercise. In recent years, caffeine has been further investigated, and studies suggest that... MORE

Zinc supplements may not protect your immune system

in Supplements

The theory that athletes need to take zinc supplements to protect their immune systems during periods of heavy training has been cast into doubt by a new study from Australia and New Zealand. Zinc is vital to healthy immune function, and previous studies have shown that people with severe zinc deficiency are prone to a... MORE

Vitamin C supplements have no effect on muscle soreness

in Supplements

Post-exercise vitamin C does not aid recovery from delayed-onset muscle soreness Hopes that vitamin C supplementation after heavy exercise could aid recovery have been dashed by a recent British study, which found no beneficial effect on delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Unaccustomed exercise causes muscle damage and a reduced ability to generate force. Although the initial... MORE

Putting medium-chain triglycerides in your sports drink can increase...

in Supplements

Perhaps the perfect dietary fat for endurance athletes has finally been found. ‘Medium-chain triglycerides’ (aka MCTs) are unique fats which are absorbed from the digestive system more quickly than regular lipids, and scientific studies have linked MCTs with an increased metabolism of body fat, preservation of muscle tissue, and significant increases in metabolic rate. To... MORE

Why magnesium matters to athletes

in Dietary basics, Nutrition for endurance athletes, Supplements

Ask most athletes to name some key minerals for human performance nutrition and you’ll probably find calcium, iron, zinc and even chromium popping up in their lists. But they are unlikely to mention magnesium. Despite magnesium’s pivotal role in energy production, many coaches and athletes remain unaware of its critical importance in maintaining health and... MORE

Does glucosamine really work?

in Supplements

You’ll never hear a bad word about glucosamine, but here’s the lowdown on whether it works  In the wake of a massive US trial, Diane Back examines the case for this hugely popular sports-injury and anti-arthritis formulation. Glucosamine is a rare example of an ‘alternative’ supplement that has gained widespread mainstream credibility among both the... MORE

Antioxidant vitamins – can they do athletes more harm...

in Supplements

Oxygen is amazing stuff. Thanks to its special chemical reactivity, it provides us with the energy required to sustain life, including the ability to power movements and muscular contraction. This explains why oxygen – and the ability to absorb, transport and use it – is so important to endurance athletes, who need lots of the... MORE

Is taking vitamin B6 good or bad for an...

in Supplements

Why all the fuss about vitamin B6 and what does it mean to athletes?  It’s a funny business, nutrition. Sports nutrition is even funnier. While a Government scientific committee has issued a warning that taking more than 10mg of B6 a day ‘may damage nerve endings’, the Colgan Institute of Sports Nutrition in San Diego,... MORE

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