The importance of supplementation for athletes
All athletes have one thing in common: they all want to give the best of themselves and they want to perform optimally. To accomplish this, they work hard on every level: condition, technique, tactic, nutrition and psychology. Supplementation is also important for athletes. The last decade, the interest for this support of our nutrition has increased, as well for professionals as for amateurs.
What is supplementation?
Supplements are nutritional substances which are consumed on top of our normal daily nutrition. Most of these substances are normally, in a lesser extent, in our nutrition, or the body produces these substances itself. The body needs these nutrients to function. So by supplying the body with the right substances in the right amounts and at the right moment, it can function optimally. Which supplements and the right quantity depends of the desired objective.
An optimal functioning of the body, especially for athletes who want to expand their limits, is not possible without a daily mix of many nutrients. You need some substances more than others, but important is that you need them in the right quantities.
Five of these substances, namely oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and sulfur, we need in large quantities. They are found in the food we eat, the water we drink and the air we breathe.
We need less or smaller amounts of the other nutrients, but they are not easily found in our environment and are barely found in our nutrition.
Our body can not, or not enough, produce these nutrients, so we have to take them from our nutrition. None of these nutrients work on its own, nutrients only work through frequent interactions with each other. It is this interaction (synergy) which is the base of their biological functioning. Synergy is therefore the first principal of modern nutrition.
Shortages in our normal nutrition
Research has shown that not even the minimum quantities are present in an average healthy nutrition. Nutrients are often destroyed or decreased by the processing of food, certain preparation techniques or bad storage.
Agricultural land is often “exhausted” and the use of pesticides increases the need for nutrients.
So even if we eat healthy, there are deficits. Moreover, most of us don’t eat healthy all the time. More shortages are caused by pollution and stress. The use of caffeine, alcohol or tobacco also increases the need for nutrients.
Only the combination of an adjusted diet, the right supplementation and a good training schedule can allow you to maximize your performances!