International surveys found that two-thirds of 3,887 elite track and field athletes taking part in world championship competitions consumed one or more dietary supplements, according to the National Institute of health. The subject of nutritional supplements is a hot debate among athletes, including those involved in combat sports like wrestling, kickboxing, boxing, and judo. Fighting sports can be challenging, as they potentially tax different psychological systems in the body. For this reason, professional fighters opt to seek practical solutions to enhance muscle strength, increase endurance and speed, and improve exercise performance. To optimize these physical attributes, most athletes incorporate dietary supplements into their expert-designed strength and condition routine. In addition to improving sports performance, supplementing nutrients is an ideal option for gaining weight quickly and safely. Below are a few things you should know about supplementation in fighting sports.

Role of Supplements

Consistent training in fighting sports like boxing, wrestling, Muay Thai, and MMA is crucial for success. However, it requires a high-level energy commitment. And while proper nutrition helps athletes maintain high energy levels, supplementation is necessary for fighters. It is important to note that supplements provide vital nutrients that might have been inadequate in your diet. In some instances, your body might not absorb the minerals or vitamins needed to boost performance. Since supplements are formulated foods as pills, powders, and drinks, they provide a convenient way to take macronutrients required to enhance performance, speed, and endurance. However, supplementation isn’t a substitute for the basics in training. You must prioritize proper workouts, healthy diets, and get enough sleep to succeed in combat sports.

Supplements Athletes Need

Factors like age, type of sport, training regimen, and diet determine the supplement you should take for pre and post-workouts. There are nutritional supplements every fighter should consider taking. If you’re looking to boost your performance, Orgain organic protein powder, creatine, BCAA’s, and Beta-Alanine are some of the supplements worth investing in. Fish oil, caffeine, and probiotics are classified as supplementations for enhancing health. These supplements have gone through thorough research and have proven beneficial in many ways. Magnesium, melatonin, and multivitamins might be less recommended, but they offer benefits like improved health and better sleep quality.

On the other hand, glucosamine and vitamin C are perfect for specific cases. You may want to try them to enhance your overall health. Other supplements you’ll notice in the market include Arginine, Vitamin B12, and glutamine. As a general rule of thumb, do your due diligence before you can spend money on any supplement. You want to make sure you’re investing in dietary supplementation products that guarantee improved performance, speed, endurance, and overall health.

Supplements For Enhancing Performance

Popular supplements for improving performance are protein, creatine, and beta-alanine. Taking protein supplements, for example, is ideal if you aren’t consuming enough proteins in your meals. Since fighters engage in vigorous strength training, they tend to lose efficiency, strength, and endurance due to muscle degradation. To promote training performance, athletes need supplements that build muscle mass and protect muscles during workouts. Given the role of proteins is to promote muscle growth, combat sports athletes should prioritize protein supplementation.

In most cases, protein supplements come in powder form extracted from whey, soy, or casein. You may also need creatine supplements whether you’re into boxing, kickboxing, MMA, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, or wrestling. Creatine is a nutrient produced naturally in the body and present in most foods. But like proteins, you might not be consuming enough creatine in your diet. Taking creatine as a dietary supplement boosts high-intensity capacity and increases lean muscle mass. Due to its ability to provide maximum strength, creatine supplements cause explosive performance boost while wrestling or sprinting. Other performance-enhancing supplements worth consuming are caffeine, sodium bicarbonate, L-glutamine, and fish oils.

Supplementation For Recovery

The ability to recover after training is crucial for athletes specializing in mixed martial arts, boxing, wrestling, and other combat sports. Unlike other athletes, fighters must engage in training more than once per day. This is because they must train to enhance their specific fighting skills and participate in strength training and conditioning programs. As a result of vigorous exercises, muscle glycogen in the athlete’s body decreases. The depletion of glycogen in between workouts causes fatigue, which affects the athlete’s speed, endurance, and performance rate.  For athletes to recover quickly, they require dietary supplementation to restore glycogen, reduce cortisol levels, and relieve muscle soreness.

Some of the supplements fighters use for training recovery include creatine, protein, omega-3 fish oil, branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs), and glutamine. You may also consider taking oral SARMS to combat chronic fatigue caused by low testosterone. Sometimes a decline in testosterone interferes with training outcomes, making even the most laborious training less effective. Oral selective androgen receptor modulators can help strengthen bones and muscle tissues and promote the recovery of limb injuries experienced during exercise. However, before consuming sublingual or capsule SARMS, conduct thorough research to ensure you purchase high-quality products from reputable stores.

Are Dietary Supplements Actually Safe?

Dietary supplementation offers numerous health benefits, but consuming supplements involves various risks. Since the FDA does not review how effective and safe nutritional supplements are, products that seem effective might be dangerous to your health. To ensure you’re taking safe and effective supplements, be it vitamin C, protein, creatine, carbohydrates, or fish oil, research your options carefully. There are various ways to tell if supplements are safe or not. As a general rule of thumb, purchase dietary supplements from reputable stores. Also, ensure the product has third-party verification on the label and online. Don’t forget to review studies that support the effectiveness of supplements, and most importantly, consult a doctor beforehand.

Dietary supplements have gained a lot of popularity among combat sports athletes and for good reasons. The supplementation of proteins, vitamins, BCAAs, omega-3, and other macronutrients promotes speed, endurance, and muscle strength required for better performance in the field. Besides boosting performance, these supplements are essential for speeding up recovery after vigorous workouts. However, you should only use supplements after proper workouts, eating right, and getting enough sleep.

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