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Food supplements and sports

by Georgia Ede
Published: Last Updated on

Types of sports supplements

Generally, people do not take supplements in their diet, only athletes, although sometimes they are of great help to the body.

These do not replace meals but are responsible for supplementing and balancing our body when we have deficiencies, or special needs ; always combined with a balanced diet .
There are athletes who abuse supplements, but it is enough to know how they work to determine what can and cannot help us.

Next we are going to explain the ones that work best and have the least risks for our body and depending on what your objective is, you will have to make use of one or the other.

Within the supplements there are 3 large groups that we will explain below;

Protein and Carbohydrate Concentrates

These concentrates provide us with nutrients that are sometimes difficult to achieve with quality only through food . According to the proportion between proteins and hydrates, we can divide this group into three large groups depending on our objective:

–  Balancing diets : This is the case of low-calorie or vegetarian diets that do not meet the needs for carbohydrates or proteins.

–  Meal replacements : Although it is not advisable to use them, although it is true they allow you to make a balanced meal on special occasions, or due to lack of time. They are very useful on routes, for mountaineers or trips or times of stress.

–  promote recovery ejoran physical performance by shortening recovery times as we provide the essential nutrients for muscle development or synthesis of energy deposits, just at the time when we need them .

The hydrates try to replenish the glycogen stores of the muscles in order to regain the functionality of the muscles . On the other hand, the amino acids present in proteins are responsible for performing a very important function when it comes to recovering muscle tissue after exercise, it is the plastic function .

Regarding the proportions between proteins and carbohydrates, you should use a  higher proportion of protein in hypocaloric or vegetarian diets, in periods of muscle definition , or in cases of excessive thinness . And higher proportion of hydrates in cases of tendency to gain weight , gain weight , substitute meals and after endurance training or strength .

Amino acids

Proteins are made up of amino acids. The three essential amino acids are valine, leucine and isoleucine, the ratio between these three should be three parts of leucine, one part of isoleucine and one part of valine.

For greater absorption of amino acids, it is recommended to take them with a glucose drink . The best known are creatine and glutamine .

For its part, creatine deals with improvements in performance during short and intense efforts . It should not be consumed continuously, but taking breaks. With them we will achieve greater metabolic efficiency during short-term intensity exercise .

On the other hand, glutamine is a non-essential amino acid that can be synthesized from other amino acids , but in case of illness or intense training or stress, the body is not able to synthesize enough ( see here more information about l glutamine ). That is why supplementation achieves rapid replacement .

It has an anticatabolic effect , which is to reduce the immunosuppression generated by intense exercise .

Prevents muscle loss in times of oxidative stress and promotes protein synthesis . In addition to protecting the immune system because glutamine makes fuel for lymphocytes and macrophages, cells of the immune system that fight infection and help eliminate cellular debris .


 They are those substances whose main objective is to prevent the formation of fat deposits , as well as their absorption.

They favor the mobilization and oxidation of fats . They can be classified into  (1) metabolic , which are L-Carnitine ( see here more information about l carnitine ) and those known as Fat Burners (fat burners) whose function is the mobilization and oxidation of fats .

On the other hand we find (2) thermogenics , which are responsible for activating the central nervous system and increase basal output ; among these we find excitators such as caffeine. The caffeine is a substance exciting , I must be careful not to consume too much. It works by stimulating the production of catecholamines and releasing adrenaline. It has a fat burning character increases sports performance, is a vasodilator and bronchodilator and delays the onset of fatigue . 

We must not exceed the recommended doses as it produces an increase in blood pressure, insomnia, increases gastric and intestinal secretions as well as renal blood flow.

We are going to delve a little into the functions of these metabolic lipotropics so that you can choose the one that suits you best according to your physical needs.

On the one hand, L-Carnitine  is responsible for transporting fatty acids for subsequent oxidation. It improves the capacity for physical exercise and the burning of fats , although it has been shown that it is more suitable for treating obesity than for athletes.

It improves fat metabolism in obesity problems and can also improve performance in aerobic exercise .

It also has a therapeutic effect on cardiovascular recovery training .

On the other hand, Fat Burners are those that intervene in the emulsion and subsequent oxidation of the fats accumulated in the liver .

They control cholesterol , improve the synthesis of neurotransmitters and promote the degradation of liver fat metabolism, as mentioned above.

Although you have to be careful, as some of these fat burners are altered with exciting substances to enhance their effectiveness and are not recommended for people with cardiovascular problems.

Once you know what functions each supplement does, the only thing left to do is decide which is the one that best suits you and the one you need.

Let’s not abuse the supplementation , because a healthy and balanced diet oriented to your training can be enough to obtain your best performances .

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