In general, people who exercise often do not need extra vitamins or minerals. It is more effective as an athlete to improve your diet and to eat more according to the Wheel of Five. According to the Nutrition Center you get enough nutrients and energy for a good sports performance. In addition, many dietary supplements have not (yet) been proven to have positive effects for athletes, and some supplements can even have negative side effects. Nevertheless, supplementation of some certain substances as a supplement to a healthy diet is certainly not useless. For example, sports supplements such as caffeine and creatine (monohydrate) can help you get just that little bit more out of sports performance. In addition, athletes also use supplements such as beet juice, magnesium, beta-alanine and sodium carbonate. However, these supplements lack sufficient scientific evidence to support the positive effects on sports performance.
The basics: good nutrition
There may be so many healthy nutrients in a multivitamin pill, but this will never match a healthy diet. A varied diet according to the Wheel of Five contains many more useful substances than you can get from a pill or supplement. This is by far the best support for your body when delivering athletic performance. Most athletes can therefore ignore supplements, especially recreational athletes. However, there are exceptions for avid athletes, who train for one to two hours or more more than three times a week.
Vitamin C is a very well-known substance that is actually indispensable for a well-functioning immune system. Extra vitamin C also contributes to maintaining your resistance during and after intense physical exertion. It is then necessary, in addition to your regular diet, to get at least 200 mg of vitamin C daily.
Caffeine is also a well-known substance that most people know as the active ingredient in their cup of coffee, and to a lesser extent also tea. The energizing effect of caffeine improves your stamina; you feel more energetic, less tired, and it improves alertness and focus. Endurance athletes could therefore certainly benefit from caffeine as a supplement. However, too much caffeine can have adverse effects, including headaches, increased heart rate, high blood pressure, gastrointestinal upset, restlessness and difficulty sleeping. These effects, both positive and negative, can vary from person to person, as some people are more sensitive than others.
Creatine gives your muscles an extra energy supply. It can help athletes to achieve better performance during short-term maximum efforts with an interval character, for example weightlifting or running sprints. A common side effect of taking creatine is weight gain. This is because the amount of fluid in the body increases. Drinking enough water is therefore very important. In addition, be aware that creatine supplementation can cause stomach or intestinal complaints.