Many people’s supplement ‘regimen’ quickly becomes a supplement ‘routine’, meaning there could be a plethora of supplements you are currently missing out on! It is well documented that our bodies can develop tolerances to some supplements such as caffeine and other central nervous stimulators. The same goes for certain proteins, cardiovascular vasodilators e.g. nitric oxide and fat metabolisers/burners. In order to ensure that you are maximising your supplement routine and not missing out on some interesting and beneficial alternatives, here’s a short list of some well known, and some lesser known sport and health supplements!
1.) Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA)
CLA is an omega-6 essential fatty acid derived from the meat or dairy of ruminant animals such as cows, sheep and goats. The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) (2010) state that CLA has been seen to exert antioxidant properties (reduce risk of cancer and heart disease), has the potential to lower serum lipid levels (fat in blood vessels) and causes a preferential shift to fat burning during both exercise and rest! CLA is thought to promote fat burning in many ways, including:
- Inhibition of lipoprotein lipase, the enzyme needed for the formation of fat stores
- Promoting fat cell apoptosis (destruction of fat cells)
- Prevention of fat storage under the skin
2.) D - Aspartic Acid (DAA)
DAA is known for its reported ability to stimulate the production of testosterone, a key component in the development of size, strength and overall lean muscle mass! It plays a key role in the normal functioning of the neuroendocrine system and neuron development. It has been reported to stimulate the release of growth hormone and luteinizing hormone from the pituitary gland (key anabolic/growth hormones). A study by Topo, Soricelli, and D’Aniello, (2009) demonstrated a 40% increase in testosterone production as a result of D-aspartic acid consumption.
Consume quick release carbohydrates such as fresh fruit juices with your main meals to induce an insulin surge increasing your absorptive capacity for protein and carbohydrate. Insulin is a potent anabolic (growth) hormone which if utilised properly, can help you gain size, tone and muscle! Also try using dextrose or maltadextrin with your protein and creatine shakes to exert a similar insulin surge.
4.) Pea Protein
An average 40g serving of pea protein delivers approx 30g protein, just 120kcal and no fat! Pea protein is a highly concentrated source of Arginine, which is an integral precursor (requirement) to the internal production of vasodilator Nitric Oxide. Nitric oxide can significantly increase the delivery of oxygen to the muscles causing substantial muscle pumps, increased vasculature, and increased training capacity and intensity!
Glutamine is very important to our muscles, in fact, over 90% of the body’s Glutamine is stored within skeletal muscle. According to Llewellyn, (2009) the body’s Glutamine stores deplete after a heavy training session, meaning the replenishment of the Glutamine pools can go some way to stunting catabolism (muscle breakdown) and aid recovery for the next day’s session. Consequently, Glutamine is one of the most effective supplements out there for reducing the effects of the dreaded ‘Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness’ aka DOMs!