Sport supplements – do we need them?


In the sporting world, supplement products are everywhere, and so is the controversy. Which ones are good for you, which ones are absolute rubbish, and what are the benefits of taking them? When it comes to working out, competing in sport events, or bettering your personal training efforts, the question remains if we actually need to take supplements. Everything from pills, powders and protein shakes are on the market, and it’s up to the individual to decide if it’s for them or not.


The issue with dietary supplements is knowing when and how to use them so that they actually help with nutrition goals. When used in the right way, with the right amount, at the right time, they can help an athlete train and compete at their best. Athletes with a busy schedule don’t always have time to get the nutrition they need, so sport supplements can be a good way to keep diets balanced and healthy. There’s also a huge convenient factor – it’s a lot easier to grab a gel or bar for a long cycle or run, than it is to squash a sandwich in your pocket!

In many cases sport supplements can be shown to directly enhance the performance of an athlete. There are a range of studies that have shown that sports drinks improve performance in prolonged exercise sessions, and more recently, in high-intensity events of about an hour. This is proof that some supplements are beneficial for both elite athletes and those training regularly.


supplementWhile most people think that if a product promises something, it has to be true, the same doesn’t always occur with sport supplements. In Australia, supplements that belong to the pill, potion and powder category fall under the control of the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and are only required to prove that they don’t contain ingredients banned by custom laws. There is no requirement for these products to actually prove any benefits of the supplement. Sports foods, including bars and drinks, fall under the control of Food Standards Australia New Zealand. It’s these guys who provide regulations about the ingredients and labelling of sports foods. What most people don’t realise is that they also permit a limited number of claims to be made on the product package.

The brand names

There are plenty of names out there that fall under the category of sport supplements – Gatorade, Powerbar, Maxim – and most are considered acceptable forms of nutritional assistance. For athletes and regular exercise-fanatics, these supplements offer a range of benefits, if used at the right times for the right reasons. If you’re looking for somewhere to find more supplements – and where to buy them – Supplement Mania is a good place to start.

If you have the knowledge, and know how to apply it, sport supplements can be a useful tool for athletes in training. Because whether you’re an athlete or keen fitness fanatic, sometimes, we just need that extra boost in a workout, and all the sleep and food in the world can’t always provide it.

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