Every worthwhile gym is bound to contain a few advisors on how to achieve the best workout results all with varying degrees of success and potential misinformation. Fortunately, their fairy tales of the next big thing are far from the only sources of information on enhancing workout performance. A great deal of scientific and medical research can help shed light on shedding pounds and amping-up performance. Here are just a few examples of what modern medicine is saying about our workouts…
The Nectar of the Gods… and Great Athletes
Resveratrol is a naturally occurring compound best known for its antioxidant properties. It has also been shown to increase athletic endurance. While it is most commonly known as the component responsible for the life-extending and cancer-fighting properties to red wine, resveratrol can also be found in many delicious fruits and nuts. Grab some grapes, blueberries, dark chocolate or peanut butter for this health-enhancing, natural workout booster. For those looking to get in a regular daily dose, NOW, Solaray and NLA are only a few of the trusted names in nutritional supplementation now offering resveratrol extracts.
Get Hungry to Run
While working muscles depend on a steady-stream of carbohydrates, a bit of carb depletion can help endurance athletes to enhance peak performance. One long, slow-intensity cardio workout per week in the morning hours without any breakfast may be painful at the time but pays-off down the road. Working out in such a depleted state has been shown to stimulate the production of more mitochondria, the body’s energy factories. It’s a simple technique that is regularly used even by world-class marathoners and Olympiads!
A Jo To-Go: Not Just for Breakfast Anymore
The supplement most consistently shown throughout research studies to truly provide enhanced performance and decreased fatigue is caffeine. This makes it no surprise that a number of sports drinks include caffeine in formulations designed to help overcome fatigue at the end of a long workout or race. Many trusted names in sports nutrition such as Clif, Accelerade and Zym Catapult provide great caffeinated options to use before and during workouts.
Some Mean Aminos…
Amino acids, the building blocks of protein, make for popular nutritional supplements among athletes of all levels. Branched Chain Amino Acids, or BCAAs, were believed to enhance performance by acting on the brain to reduce a sensation of fatigue. Research has shown, however, that the real benefit of BCAAs is their ability reduce the damage to skeletal muscle, leading to improved recovery time between workouts. Make each workout better by adding a sports shake like MusclePharm BCAA 3:1:2, JYM Post JYM or MusclePharm AMINO1 as a pre- or post-workout snack.
Health science technology is advancing at an unprecedented rate and the changes can be seen in the weight room. With innovations like the availability of medical research studies in Salt Lake City and other great avenues for knowledge our understanding of the human body is only going to get better. Whether to reach a new personal best or simply to pass on a bit of personal advice, hitting the gym only gets easier when armed with the latest in sports nutrition science.