Sports Nutrition Supplements

Written by Jared Vincenti
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In recent years, the term "nutritional supplement" has been abused in reference to athletes. Often, it is used as a euphemism for a performance enhancer, or a hormone such as androstendione, that would never be considered part of normal nutrition. However, athletes do need greater amounts of many nutrients, and benefit greatly from taking these as supplements.

Nutrition Supplements for Athletes

The first supplement that many athletes need is vitamin B. There are actually about two dozen B vitamins, but taken together, they promote cell growth, nervous system development, as well as boosted metabolism levels and immune systems. They contribute to healthy hair, skin, bones, and teeth, and are essential to any athlete. Vitamin B is water soluble, though, and any excess is lost in the urine. For this reason, athletes should supplement Vitamin B in their diets after exercise.

Also, fish liver oil is a common supplement for endurance athletes. Most modern diets discourage fatty foods, but athletes that burn a lot of calories often need more fats and oils than those less active. The omega-3 fatty acids in fish oil help the body produce its own natural anti-inflammatories, which are essential for sports like running where there is a lot of stress on one part of the body.

Finally, iron is a crucial supplement for athletes. Athletes frequently become anemic due to low iron levels, despite the fact that they need more iron to increase the ability of their blood to carry oxygen. Iron supplements solve this problem, but must be taken judiciously, as you can get sick from having too much iron in your system.

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