Sport Performance Supplementation

Whether someone is training for a specific sport, race or physical endeavor of any kind, inevitably the subject of supplements will come up. However, not all supplements are created equal, and many things like anabolic steroids get falsely lumped in with the idea of “supplements” when scientifically speaking they are something completely different.

A supplement is technically anything that “supplements” your normal diet, and is therefore already a part of your daily intake, albeit in smaller amounts. For example, probiotic supplements are taken to enhance the existing bacterial population in one’s gut (written about previously on this blog), as are multi-vitamin or protein supplements.

As has been mentioned previously on this blog, the supplement industry is plagued by pseudoscience, namely because humans are inherently lazy and will search for short cuts or advantages wherever possible. Therefore it’s imperative to research whatever supplement you’re thinking of taking, and find out whether the desired effects are beneficial, or even realistic.

Luckily there are companies that do their research properly, producing scientifically backed products and stand by everything they put out. Recently Yard Athletics was lucky enough to become an ambassador for a Canadian company called Blonyx, helping to provide their athletes with clean, simple, scientifically backed supplements, proven to improve performance when taken appropriately in conjunction with proper training regiments.

Below is a brief breakdown of the Blonyx portfolio of products, so have a read through and see what you think. If any of them sound like something you might be interested in, Yard Athletics has a discount available here using the code YARDHARD.

If there’s any questions on the products, feel free to give us a shout!!

Creatine

Creatine is stored in the muscle and acts as a very rapid, (but limited) source of energy for very high intensity muscle contractions. The body makes creatine in the liver, kidneys, and the pancreas by breaking down the amino acids glycine and arginine found in dietary protein. We top up this creatine with that found in the food we eat. Red meat as well as certain fish, like herring, are high in creatine.

Research shows that taking 3-5g/day of creatine increases strength and muscle mass in training athletes. Creatine both increases strength when training involves large, compound movements. Creatine also improves endurance performance in athletes including running and cycling. Additionally, creatine can speed muscle mass increases with proper training, and is thought to work by increasing the body’s store of Creatine-Phosphate (CR-P). CR-P provides energy rapidly when doing high intensity explosive movements. 

Beta Alanine

High intensity training causes a build-up of lactic acid in the muscles, which results in a burning sensation in addition to a loss of power and eventually fatigue in muscle cells. BETA-Alanine is combined with the amino acid histidine to create carnosine, which buffers lactic acid build-up in the muscles, hence slowing the onset of fatigue.

BETA-Alanine is a modified version of the amino acid alanine. It can be made in the liver, where it is then transported via the blood to the muscle cells for carnosine production.We need to top up the BETA-Alanine we make by getting it in the diet from foods like meat and fish.

Research shows that supplementing the diet with an additional 6g/day BETA-Alanine increases muscle carnosine levels, resulting in an increase in muscular endurance from acid buffering. Taking BETA-Alanine extends time to exhaustion when training at high intensity for short bouts (up to 5 mins) as well as improving rowing, cycling and sprint performance. When doing strength based training, BETA-Alanine increases the volume of training (number of reps), an athlete is capable of achieving.

HMB

HMB (Hydroxy-Methylbutyric Acid) plays an important role in muscle health via its storage in the muscles, and subsequent role in building, maintainence and repair of muscle cells.

HMB as a supplement is bound to Calcium to help keep it stable as a powder, in addition to being more soluble in water. Calcium (as most of us know) is also good for bone health.

The body makes HMB by breaking down the amino acid leucine, which is found in the protein we eat. However, only about 5% of leucine is turned into HMB, so the HMB made by the body is topped up with HMB found in food. Some foods like alfalfa, fish and grapefruit, contain higher amounts of HMB. Research shows that supplementing the diet with an additional 3g/day HMB improves athletic performance in training athletes.

Taking HMB increases strength gains when training involves large, compound movements. HMB speeds improvements in endurance performance when training involves running, cycling and rowing. Supplementing with HMB increases muscle mass gains when training, as well as reducing the blood indicators of muscle cell damage after high training loads.

Taking HMB reduces the recovery time needed between training sessions, and has also been found to have a number of health benefits such as reduced blood pressure and cholesterol levels.

HMB is thought to work by speeding muscle protein synthesis and slowing protein breakdown, and is also used to build and maintain muscle cell walls, thus reducing the damage done by high intensity and heavy training.

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