Athletes turn to supplements for extra edge
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Nearly all athletes today, both professional and amateur, look for that competitive edge.
Many have turned to athletic supplements as a way to boost their performance.
However, with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to find which is the most effective.
With rising prices, consumers have to be careful before making a decision, especially considering that each individualís body responds in different ways.
In addition, it also can be hard to find an unbiased opinion or products with proven research to back up their claims.
Dr. Michael Colgan, PhD, CCN, director of the Colgan Institute of Nutritional Science has written several books concerning ideal nutrition for athletes including Optimum Sports Nutrition: Your Competitive Edge.
In an article for Muscular Development Sports & Fitness magazine, Colgan supported Chromium Picolinate as a way to slightly reduce body fat and to gain lean mass.
On the other hand, Creatine has become one of the most popular supplements available, earning $200 million in sales last year.
Its high consumer approval is additionally backed up by scientific research.
It supposedly increases muscle size, strength, energy, power output, and helps muscles heal faster after exercise.
While it has not been proven to produce any serious side effects, many athletes often complain with cramps during Creatine use.
This side effect has been linked to the fact that the supplement causes muscles to retain water.
When athletes do not maintain proper hydration during exercise the Creatine is unable to properly assist in the healing of muscles and often results in serious muscle cramps.
Also, Creatine is not related to, but is sometimes confused with anabolic steroids, which may produce undesirable side effects, none of which have been linked to the use of Creatine.
Another popular supplement is whey protein, one of the proteins found in milk.
Protein is essential for growth and repair of muscle tissues.
Whey protein has no side effects and is also thought to boost the immune system.
For those looking for a quick lift, GNCís Physical magazine reported in June that Nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide, or NADH, is becoming a popular pick-me-up.
It has been shown to boost mental, as well as physical performance for short periods of time.
NADH is a key contributor in the production of energy, but is not a stimulant.
However, it does not actually increase muscle mass and is not recommended for continual use.
Before choosing a supplement, be sure to research both the positive and negative effects of the product. Research both the product and the ingredients it contains.
If all else fails, consult a local fitness counselor, or your family physician for the best supplement that will help you achieve your ultimate goals.