Can Dietary Supplements Be Safe For Athletes?

By: JohnBarnes

With microwaveable dinner making eating less of a hassle and convenient for some, many health practitioners are concerned about human health. Studies have indicated that many people are not consuming the correct amount of vitamins and minerals that the body needs. With this said, many have turned to dietary supplements to make up for the so-called “nutritional deficiency”. However, can supplements be safe especially for those individuals who are into sports?

Dietary Supplements – What they are and what they are not

Many people use dietary supplements though it is quite common among athletes as these supplements are meant to optimize and enhance the athletes’ bodies to ensure that they can perform to the best of their abilities. Most supplements contain vitamins, amino acids, herbs, minerals and food extracts to replace the vitamins and minerals lost during training sessions and/or help the body to repair itself quickly. These dietary supplements are approved by sports organizations; however, there are some dietary supplements that are also banned such as those ergogenic aids or supplements that contain performance-enhancing substances.

Common Sports Supplements

Below are some common sports supplements that are accepted by most sporting organizations:

Creatine is available in most foods that humans eat although it is more common with consumption of beef. Creatine is a popular sports supplement that is used to help athletes perform high intensity exercises and other high power performances. Creatine storage in the body is limited; as such, excessive storage is not possible in the human body.

Glucosamine is also one of the popular supplements as this helps the body with repair of the cartilage cells where injury is common among sports athletes. Glucosamine may also help with prevent inflammation and cartilage breakdown and is especially helpful to those who are into weight bearing exercises.

Vitamins B6, 12 and Folate can help athletes increase their performance as well as support the repair of damaged muscles. B16 and B12 vitamins facilitate building muscle mass which is important for athletes that are into high intensity sports. Other sources of vitamins B6, 12 and folate include vegetables, grains, dairy products and nuts that might be limited for those who are into restricted diet.

Regulated Dietary Supplements

Other dietary supplements are relatively safe while some supplements called “performance enhancing drugs” are banned or regulated. Examples of these supplements include supplements that contain ephedrine, erythropoietin, caffeine and HemAsist. These supplements are regulated and some are banned as they pose serious health concerns and can cause serious side effects.

For those who wish to use supplements, it is important that they take into consideration these things and consider reading the label to ensure that they are not exposing themselves to serious health risks. Some dietary supplements can provide beneficial advantages if used correctly and with the go-ahead of their physicians.